AskDefine | Define abstruse

Dictionary Definition

abstruse adj : difficult to penetrate; incomprehensible to one of ordinary understanding or knowledge; "the professor's lectures were so abstruse that students tended to avoid them"; "a deep metaphysical theory"; "some recondite problem in historiography" [syn: deep, recondite]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /əbˈstruːs/


abstrusus, past participle of abstrudere to thrust away, conceal; ab, abs + trudere to thrust; compare abstrus. See Threat.


  1. remote from apprehension; difficult to comprehend or understand; recondite; as, abstruse learning.
    • 1748. David Hume. Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral. London: Oxford University Press, 1973. § 13.
      It is certain that the easy and obvious philosophy will always, with the generality of mankind, have the preference above the accurate and abstruse;
  2. concealed or hidden out of the way.
    • The eternal eye whose sight discerns Abstrusest thoughts. — #:* Profound and abstruse topics. - Milman


difficult to comprehend
  • Italian: astruso
  • Portuguese: abstruso



  1. Feminine plural form of astruso

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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