A Word A Day : Abstruse

Sunday, 12th August 2007 : Today's Word is...


( Adjective )

Pronunciation : (ab-strus')

1. Difficult to understand

2. Beyond the understanding of an average mind

3. Hard to understand


Latin abstrūsus, past participle of abstrūdere, to hide : abs-, ab-, away; see ab–1 + trūdere, to push


1. Bewildering

2. Circuitous

3. Complex

4. Complicated

5. Deep

6. Hypothetical

7. Ideal

8. Indefinite

9. Intellectual

10. Nonconcrete

11. Philosophical

12. Recondite

13. Theoretical

14. Transcendent

15. Transcendental

16. Unreal

17. Ambiguous


1. Child's Play

2. Clear

3. Comprehensible

4. Concrete

5. Direct

6. Easy

7. Lucid

8. Obvious

9. Plain

10. Simple

Contextual Example:

• The professor's article, on the meaning of meaning, was very abstruse. Michael couldn't even pronounce the words in it.

• Nuclear physics is a subject that is too abstruse for most people.

• All of the texts were abstruse to Mike.

Related Words:

Abstrusely : ab·struse'ly : Adverb

Abstruseness : ab·struse'ness : Noun


When you mean to criticize something for being needlessly complex or baffling, the word you need is not obtuse, but abstruse.

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