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illustration Abstruse



Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Latin, mid-16th century


Difficult to understand; obscure.

Examples of Abstruse in a sentence

"The single was critically acclaimed despite its abstruse lyrics."

"The movie’s ending was far too abstruse to be popular with the general public."

About Abstruse

Abstruse comes from the Latin word "abstrusus" ("put away, hidden"). The Latin developed in turn from the word "abstrudere" ("conceal"), a combination of "ab" ("from") and "trudere" ("to push").

Did you Know?

Although this word sounds similar to "obtuse" ("slow or difficult to understand") and the meanings are similar, "abstruse" has a different root. "Abstruse" is derived from the Latin word "abstrusus" ("hidden, put away"), while "obtuse" is derived from the Latin word "obtustus" ("to beat against"). "Abstruse" references something that has been obscured or is difficult to understand, while "obtuse" describes a person who has difficulty understanding a situation.

illustration Abstruse

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