Top 57 Slang For Abstract – Meaning & Usage

Abstract concepts can sometimes be tricky to articulate, but fear not! We’ve gathered a list of slang terms that will make discussing abstract ideas a breeze. From mind-bending concepts to deep philosophical musings, this list will have you navigating the world of abstract thinking with ease. So, get ready to expand your vocabulary and dive into the realm of the intangible with our curated collection of slang for abstract.

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1. Mind-bending

This term describes something that is mentally challenging or difficult to comprehend. It refers to an idea, concept, or experience that pushes the boundaries of conventional thinking.

  • For example, “The movie Inception is a mind-bending exploration of dreams within dreams.”
  • A person might say, “That abstract painting is truly mind-bending; it makes you question reality.”
  • In a discussion about philosophy, someone might bring up a mind-bending thought experiment like Schrödinger’s cat.

2. Head-scratcher

This slang term is used to describe something that is confusing or difficult to understand. It refers to a problem or situation that makes you scratch your head in confusion.

  • For instance, “The math equation was a real head-scratcher; it took me hours to solve.”
  • A person might say, “I’ve been trying to figure out the answer to this riddle, but it’s a real head-scratcher.”
  • In a conversation about a complex issue, someone might say, “The solution to this problem is a real head-scratcher; we need to think outside the box.”

3. Brain-teaser

This term refers to a puzzle, riddle, or problem that requires mental effort and creative thinking to solve. It is often used to describe a question or situation that tests someone’s intelligence or problem-solving skills.

  • For example, “The crossword puzzle in today’s newspaper is a real brain-teaser.”
  • A person might say, “I love brain-teasers; they keep my mind sharp and engaged.”
  • In a discussion about challenging games, someone might mention a brain-teaser like Sudoku or a Rubik’s Cube.

4. Thought-provoking

This term describes something that prompts contemplation or reflection. It refers to an idea, question, or piece of art that encourages people to think deeply and critically.

  • For instance, “The novel raises thought-provoking questions about the nature of humanity.”
  • A person might say, “I find documentaries about social issues to be incredibly thought-provoking.”
  • In a conversation about influential speeches, someone might mention a thought-provoking quote that sparked a movement.

5. Mind-boggler

This slang term is used to describe something that is difficult to understand or comprehend. It refers to an idea or concept that is puzzling or mind-boggling.

  • For example, “Quantum physics can be a real mind-boggler; it challenges our understanding of reality.”
  • A person might say, “The concept of infinity is a mind-boggler; it’s hard to wrap your head around.”
  • In a discussion about abstract art, someone might describe a particularly complex piece as a mind-boggler.

6. Intellectually stimulating

This phrase is used to describe something that challenges or engages the mind, often in an academic or intellectual context.

  • For example, a person might say, “That book was intellectually stimulating; it really made me think.”
  • In a discussion about a complex scientific theory, someone might comment, “The concept is intellectually stimulating, but difficult to fully grasp.”
  • A teacher might encourage students by saying, “Let’s dive into this intellectually stimulating topic and explore it from different angles.”

7. Conceptual

Referring to ideas or concepts rather than specific physical objects. “Conceptual” is often used to describe something that is theoretical or based on abstract thought.

  • For instance, in a discussion about art, someone might say, “This painting is more conceptual than representational.”
  • In a philosophy class, a student might ask, “Can you explain the conceptual framework behind this theory?”
  • A designer might describe their work by saying, “I wanted to create a conceptual piece that challenges traditional notions of beauty.”

8. Philosophical

Relating to the study of fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, and more. “Philosophical” can also describe a deep or reflective approach to life or a particular topic.

  • For example, someone might say, “I’ve been having philosophical discussions with my friends about the meaning of life.”
  • In a conversation about ethics, a person might comment, “It’s important to take a philosophical approach and consider the consequences of our actions.”
  • A teacher might ask their students, “What are some philosophical questions that have puzzled humanity for centuries?”

9. Abstract notion

An idea or concept that is not easily defined or visualized, often requiring deeper thought or understanding.

  • For instance, in a discussion about love, someone might say, “Love is such an abstract notion; it’s difficult to put into words.”
  • In a psychology class, a student might ask, “Can you explain the abstract notion of consciousness?”
  • A philosopher might write, “Abstract notions like justice and freedom are central to our understanding of society.”

10. Deep dive

A metaphorical expression used to describe a thorough examination or analysis of a particular topic or subject.

  • For example, a journalist might say, “I’m planning to do a deep dive into the history of this political movement.”
  • In a business meeting, someone might suggest, “Let’s take a deep dive into the data and see if we can identify any patterns.”
  • A student preparing for an exam might say, “I need to do a deep dive into this chapter to fully understand the concepts.”

11. High-level thinking

High-level thinking refers to the ability to think critically and abstractly about complex ideas or concepts. It involves analyzing information, making connections, and drawing conclusions at a higher level of abstraction.

  • For example, a professor might say, “This course will challenge you to engage in high-level thinking.”
  • In a discussion about problem-solving, someone might suggest, “We need to approach this issue with high-level thinking to find a creative solution.”
  • A student might describe their research project as, “I’m conducting a study that requires high-level thinking to analyze the data.”

12. Esoteric

Esoteric refers to knowledge or ideas that are understood by only a small group of people with specialized knowledge or interests. These concepts are often abstract and difficult for the general public to comprehend.

  • For instance, a philosopher might discuss esoteric theories about the nature of reality.
  • In a conversation about art, someone might describe a piece as, “It’s quite esoteric, with hidden meanings and symbolism.”
  • A person might say, “I love delving into esoteric topics like quantum physics or ancient philosophy.”

13. Metaphysical

Metaphysical refers to ideas or concepts that go beyond the physical world and explore the nature of reality, existence, and the relationship between mind and matter.

  • For example, a spiritual teacher might discuss metaphysical concepts like the soul or consciousness.
  • In a philosophical debate, someone might argue, “The question of existence is a metaphysical one.”
  • A person exploring their spirituality might say, “I’m interested in exploring the metaphysical aspects of different religions.”

14. Existential

Existential refers to ideas or concepts that relate to the nature of existence, individual experience, and the search for meaning in life. It often involves contemplating the purpose and significance of one’s own existence.

  • For instance, a writer might explore existential themes in their novel.
  • In a discussion about personal identity, someone might ask, “What does it mean to have an existential crisis?”
  • A person might say, “I find comfort in reading existential philosophy and pondering the big questions in life.”

15. Intangible

Intangible refers to things that cannot be physically touched or perceived by the senses. It often refers to abstract concepts or qualities that cannot be measured or quantified.

  • For example, love is often described as an intangible emotion.
  • In a discussion about success, someone might mention, “There’s an intangible quality to charisma that can’t be taught.”
  • A person might say, “I prefer working with tangible objects rather than intangible ideas.”

16. Enigmatic

Enigmatic refers to something that is puzzling or difficult to understand. It is often used to describe a person, object, or situation that is shrouded in mystery or ambiguity.

  • For example, a movie with a complex plot might be described as enigmatic.
  • A person who is hard to read or understand might be called enigmatic.
  • A cryptic message that requires deciphering could be considered enigmatic.
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17. Cryptic

Cryptic refers to something that is secretive or hidden in meaning. It is often used to describe messages, codes, or language that is difficult to interpret or understand.

  • For instance, a crossword clue with a hidden meaning might be described as cryptic.
  • A mysterious note that requires decoding could be considered cryptic.
  • A person who speaks in riddles or uses ambiguous language might be called cryptic.

18. Abstruse

Abstruse refers to something that is extremely difficult to understand or comprehend. It is often used to describe complex or obscure ideas, theories, or concepts.

  • For example, a philosophical text with convoluted arguments might be described as abstruse.
  • A scientific theory that is beyond the comprehension of most people could be considered abstruse.
  • A person who uses highly technical language that is difficult to follow might be called abstruse.

19. Profound

Profound refers to something that is deep, thoughtful, and meaningful. It is often used to describe ideas, insights, or experiences that have a significant impact or bring about a deep understanding.

  • For instance, a profound statement or quote that resonates with people might be shared.
  • A life-changing event or realization could be described as profound.
  • A person who has a deep understanding of a particular subject might be considered profound.

20. Intriguing

Intriguing refers to something that is fascinating, captivating, or arousing curiosity. It is often used to describe ideas, stories, or objects that pique interest or draw people in.

  • For example, a mysterious plot twist in a book might be described as intriguing.
  • A person with an unusual or mysterious background might be considered intriguing.
  • A scientific discovery or theory that challenges existing knowledge could be described as intriguing.

21. Abstraction

Abstraction refers to a general idea or concept that is not tied to any specific instance or object. It is a way of thinking about something in a broader, more general sense.

  • For example, in art, abstraction refers to a style that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of visual reality.
  • In philosophy, abstraction is the process of considering something independently of its specific details or instances.
  • A person might say, “I enjoy contemplating the abstraction of time and its philosophical implications.”

22. Theory

A theory is a well-substantiated explanation or framework that helps us understand and explain observations or phenomena. It is a systematic way of organizing knowledge and making predictions.

  • For instance, in science, the theory of evolution explains how species change over time.
  • In psychology, the theory of cognitive dissonance explains how people reconcile conflicting beliefs or attitudes.
  • A person might say, “I have a theory that the universe is a hologram.”

23. Notion

Notion refers to a vague or general idea, often without specific details or evidence. It is a way of expressing a thought or belief without committing to it fully.

  • For example, someone might say, “I have a notion that she’s hiding something from us.”
  • In a discussion about politics, a person might express the notion that “all politicians are corrupt.”
  • A person might ask, “What’s your notion on the meaning of life?”

24. Concept

Concept refers to an abstract idea or mental construct that helps us understand or categorize the world around us. It is a way of organizing and classifying information.

  • For instance, the concept of time helps us understand the sequence and duration of events.
  • In mathematics, the concept of infinity is a fundamental idea that has many applications.
  • A person might say, “I struggle with understanding the concept of quantum mechanics.”

25. Idea

Idea refers to a thought or mental impression that arises in the mind. It is a way of expressing a concept or belief.

  • For example, someone might say, “I have an idea for a new invention.”
  • In a brainstorming session, people share their ideas and suggestions.
  • A person might ask, “Do you have any ideas on how to solve this problem?”

26. Thought

A thought refers to an idea or concept that exists in the mind. It can be a fleeting notion or a deep reflection.

  • For example, “I had a thought about starting my own business.”
  • In a conversation about creativity, someone might say, “I believe that every thought has the potential to become something great.”
  • A philosopher might ponder, “What is the nature of thought itself?”

27. Philosophy

Philosophy is the study of fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, and more. It explores abstract concepts and seeks to understand the nature of reality.

  • For instance, “I’m majoring in philosophy because I love examining the big questions.”
  • In a discussion about ethics, someone might say, “Philosophy helps us think critically about moral dilemmas.”
  • A philosopher might argue, “Philosophy is essential for understanding our place in the universe.”

28. Hypothesis

A hypothesis is an educated guess or assumption made based on limited evidence. It is often used in scientific research to propose explanations for phenomena.

  • For example, “My hypothesis is that plants grow better with sunlight.”
  • In a scientific discussion, someone might say, “We need to test this hypothesis to determine if it’s valid.”
  • A researcher might present their hypothesis by saying, “I believe that increased exercise leads to improved mental health.”

29. Speculation

Speculation refers to making a conjecture or guess about something without solid evidence or proof. It involves considering possibilities or potential outcomes.

  • For instance, “There’s a lot of speculation about who will win the upcoming election.”
  • In a discussion about a mysterious event, someone might say, “We can only engage in speculation until we have more information.”
  • A journalist might write, “Speculation about the new product launch has been circulating for months.”

30. Abstractionism

Abstractionism is an artistic movement that emphasizes the use of abstract forms, shapes, and colors to represent ideas or emotions. It often departs from realistic or representational depictions.

  • For example, “The painting is a beautiful example of abstractionism.”
  • In an art critique, someone might say, “The artist’s use of abstractionism allows for multiple interpretations.”
  • An art historian might discuss, “The origins and evolution of abstractionism in the 20th century.”

31. Ideation

This term refers to the process of generating new ideas or concepts. It is often used in creative or problem-solving contexts.

  • For example, a team might engage in ideation sessions to come up with innovative solutions.
  • A designer might say, “I need some time for ideation before I start working on the project.”
  • In a discussion about entrepreneurship, someone might mention, “Successful startups often begin with a strong ideation phase.”

32. Conception

This word refers to the beginning or creation of an idea or concept. It signifies the moment when something is first formed or imagined.

  • For instance, an artist might explain, “The painting was inspired by the conception of a dream.”
  • In a philosophical debate, someone might argue, “The conception of morality varies across different cultures.”
  • A writer might describe their process, saying, “I start with a vague conception of the story and let it evolve as I write.”

33. Cogitation

This term describes the act of deep thinking or contemplation, often involving complex or abstract ideas.

  • For example, a philosopher might engage in cogitation to develop their theories.
  • In a discussion about decision-making, someone might say, “I need some time for cogitation before I make up my mind.”
  • A student might mention, “Cogitation helps me understand complex subjects and connect different concepts.”

34. Intellection

This word refers to the process of thinking or the act of using one’s mind to reason, understand, or imagine.

  • For instance, a psychologist might study the patterns of intellection in human cognition.
  • In a conversation about problem-solving, someone might say, “Intellection is crucial for coming up with innovative solutions.”
  • A teacher might explain, “Intellection is not just about memorizing facts but also about critically analyzing information.”

35. Cerebration

This term encompasses all forms of mental activity, including thinking, imagining, reasoning, and perceiving.

  • For example, a neurologist might study the patterns of cerebration in the brain.
  • In a discussion about creativity, someone might say, “Cerebration is essential for generating new ideas.”
  • A psychologist might explain, “Cerebration is the foundation of cognitive processes and higher-order thinking.”

36. Theoretical

Relating to or based on theory; not practical or proven. “Theoretical” refers to ideas or concepts that are hypothetical or abstract in nature.

  • For example, in a scientific discussion, one might say, “This is just a theoretical concept at this point.”
  • In a debate about philosophy, someone might argue, “Theoretical ethics can provide valuable insights into moral dilemmas.”
  • A student studying physics might say, “I struggle with the theoretical aspects of quantum mechanics.”

37. Intellectual

Relating to or involving intellect or mental capacity. “Intellectual” refers to activities or pursuits that require deep thinking, analysis, or understanding.

  • For instance, someone might say, “She’s known for her intellectual prowess.”
  • In a conversation about literature, one might comment, “This book is a challenging read, but it’s incredibly intellectual.”
  • A person discussing education might argue, “Intellectual curiosity is crucial for lifelong learning.”

38. Nonphysical

Not physical or tangible; existing only in thought or as an idea. “Nonphysical” refers to things that do not have a physical form or presence.

  • For example, in a discussion about spirituality, one might say, “The soul is a nonphysical entity.”
  • In a debate about the mind-body problem, someone might argue, “Consciousness is a nonphysical phenomenon.”
  • A person discussing emotions might comment, “Love is a nonphysical force that can have a profound impact on our lives.”

39. Immaterial

Not important or significant; lacking relevance or substance. “Immaterial” refers to things that are not relevant or essential in a particular context.

  • For instance, in a legal argument, one might say, “The defendant’s previous convictions are immaterial to this case.”
  • In a discussion about priorities, someone might comment, “The small details are immaterial; let’s focus on the big picture.”
  • A person discussing a disagreement might argue, “His personal feelings about the issue are immaterial to the objective facts.”

40. Ethereal

Extremely delicate, light, or airy; having a spiritual or celestial quality. “Ethereal” refers to things that are delicate, elusive, or seemingly not of this world.

  • For example, in describing a beautiful landscape, one might say, “The mountains were shrouded in an ethereal mist.”
  • In a discussion about music, someone might comment, “Her voice has an ethereal quality that transports listeners.”
  • A person discussing dreams might say, “Last night, I had an ethereal experience; it felt like I was floating through space.”

41. Unseen

Refers to something that cannot be seen with the naked eye or is hidden from view. The term is often used to describe things that are not physically present or are beyond the realm of perception.

  • For example, “The unseen forces of nature can have a powerful impact on our daily lives.”
  • In a discussion about supernatural phenomena, one might say, “Ghosts are believed to be unseen spirits lingering in the physical world.”
  • A person reflecting on their emotions might say, “My sadness is like an unseen weight that I carry with me.”

42. Unheard

Describes something that cannot be heard or is not audible. The term is often used to describe sounds or voices that are not present or are not being listened to.

  • For instance, “The unheard cries for help went unnoticed by the crowd.”
  • In a discussion about marginalized voices, one might say, “Many important stories remain unheard in mainstream media.”
  • A person reflecting on their thoughts might say, “My inner voice often goes unheard amidst the noise of daily life.”

43. Non-concrete

Refers to something that is not tangible or physical. The term is often used to describe ideas, concepts, or qualities that are not easily defined or measured.

  • For example, “Love is a non-concrete emotion that can be felt but not touched.”
  • In a discussion about art, one might say, “Abstract paintings often explore non-concrete forms and expressions.”
  • A person reflecting on their dreams might say, “My aspirations are non-concrete goals that I strive to achieve.”

44. Hypothetical

Describes something that is based on a hypothesis or assumption rather than actual facts or evidence. The term is often used to describe imaginary or theoretical scenarios.

  • For instance, “Let’s consider a hypothetical situation where time travel is possible.”
  • In a discussion about ethics, one might say, “The trolley problem presents a hypothetical moral dilemma.”
  • A person reflecting on their choices might say, “I often find myself pondering hypothetical ‘what if’ scenarios.”

45. Non-material

Refers to something that is not physical or material in nature. The term is often used to describe things that are intangible or spiritual.

  • For example, “Happiness is a non-material state of being that cannot be bought.”
  • In a discussion about philosophy, one might say, “The existence of the soul is a question of non-material existence.”
  • A person reflecting on their values might say, “I prioritize non-material wealth such as love and experiences over material possessions.”

46. Non-physical

This term refers to something that does not have a physical form or substance. It is used to describe ideas, concepts, or qualities that cannot be touched or seen.

  • For example, “Love is a non-physical emotion that can’t be measured.”
  • In a philosophical discussion, one might say, “The mind is a non-physical entity separate from the body.”
  • A scientist might explain, “Non-physical forces, such as gravity, can still have a significant impact on the physical world.”

47. Conceptualization

This term refers to the act of developing or creating abstract ideas or concepts in one’s mind. It involves understanding and interpreting information in a way that goes beyond concrete, tangible objects.

  • For instance, “The artist’s conceptualization of the painting was inspired by her dreams.”
  • In a business meeting, someone might discuss the conceptualization of a new product or marketing strategy.
  • A teacher might explain, “Conceptualization is an important skill for students to develop in order to understand complex topics.”

48. Speculative

This term describes something that is based on speculation or conjecture rather than concrete evidence or facts. It often refers to ideas or theories that are not yet proven or confirmed.

  • For example, “The scientist presented a speculative theory about the origins of the universe.”
  • In a discussion about investments, someone might say, “Speculative stocks carry a higher risk but also have the potential for higher returns.”
  • A writer might describe a speculative fiction novel as one that explores imaginative and hypothetical scenarios.
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49. Abstracted

This term describes a state of being mentally absorbed or preoccupied with one’s thoughts, often to the point of being unaware of one’s surroundings. It is commonly used to describe someone who is deep in thought or contemplation.

  • For instance, “She sat in the park, abstracted from the world, lost in her own thoughts.”
  • In a meeting, someone might notice a colleague’s abstracted expression and ask, “Are you okay? You seem distracted.”
  • A writer might describe a character as being abstracted from reality, living in their own world of imagination.

50. Cognitive

This term refers to mental processes and activities related to acquiring knowledge, understanding, and reasoning. It encompasses functions such as perception, memory, language, and problem-solving.

  • For example, “Cognitive development is an important aspect of a child’s growth and learning.”
  • In a psychology class, a professor might explain, “Cognitive psychology focuses on studying how people think, reason, and solve problems.”
  • A therapist might use cognitive techniques to help a patient identify and change negative thought patterns.

51. Non-real

This term refers to something that does not exist in reality or is not tangible. It is often used to describe concepts or ideas that are purely fictional or theoretical.

  • For example, in a discussion about mythical creatures, someone might say, “Unicorns are non-real beings.”
  • In a philosophical debate, a person might argue, “Non-real entities cannot have a direct impact on the physical world.”
  • A writer might describe a dream sequence as, “The protagonist finds themselves in a non-real world filled with fantastical creatures.”

52. Non-tangible

This term describes things that cannot be touched or physically grasped. It is often used to refer to abstract concepts or qualities that cannot be measured or quantified.

  • For instance, in a discussion about emotions, someone might say, “Love is a non-tangible feeling.”
  • In a business context, a person might mention, “Intellectual property is a non-tangible asset.”
  • A philosopher might argue, “Non-tangible aspects of existence, such as consciousness, are difficult to define or prove.”

53. Non-empirical

This term refers to knowledge or information that is not based on direct observation or experience. It is often used to describe concepts or ideas that are derived from reasoning or speculation rather than concrete evidence.

  • For example, in a scientific discussion, someone might say, “The non-empirical model provides a theoretical framework for understanding the phenomenon.”
  • In a debate about historical events, a person might argue, “There is non-empirical evidence to support alternative interpretations.”
  • A philosopher might discuss, “The role of non-empirical reasoning in ethical decision-making.”

54. Non-observable

This term describes something that cannot be directly perceived or observed. It is often used to refer to abstract or metaphysical concepts that are beyond the scope of human senses.

  • For instance, in a discussion about the nature of reality, someone might say, “The non-observable dimensions of the universe are theorized by physicists.”
  • In a debate about consciousness, a person might argue, “Non-observable subjective experiences are a challenging topic for scientific inquiry.”
  • A philosopher might ponder, “Are there non-observable entities that exist independently of our perception?”

55. Non-sensory

This term refers to things that are not experienced through the senses. It is often used to describe ideas or concepts that are not tangible or perceivable through ordinary sensory perception.

  • For example, in a discussion about art, someone might say, “Abstract paintings evoke non-sensory emotions.”
  • In a philosophical debate, a person might argue, “Non-sensory knowledge can be obtained through rational thinking.”
  • A writer might describe a dream sequence as, “The protagonist enters a non-sensory realm where logic and reality are suspended.”

56. Non-physicality

The state or quality of not having a physical presence or being tangible. “Non-physicality” refers to things that are not physical or material in nature.

  • For example, in a philosophical discussion, one might say, “Non-physicality is a concept that challenges our understanding of reality.”
  • When discussing the nature of consciousness, someone might argue, “The mind is a prime example of non-physicality.”
  • In a debate about the existence of the soul, one might ask, “Can non-physicality be proven or measured?”

57. Non-visual

Referring to something that cannot be seen or perceived with the eyes. “Non-visual” describes things that are not related to or dependent on visual perception.

  • For instance, in a discussion about art, someone might mention, “Non-visual elements, such as sound or texture, can greatly impact the overall experience.”
  • When describing a sensory experience, one might say, “The taste of a dish can evoke emotions even in a non-visual way.”
  • In a conversation about communication, someone might argue, “Non-visual cues, such as tone of voice or body language, play a crucial role in understanding a message.”