Part of speech: adjective
Origin: Latin, late 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 for the general public."
Popularity Over Time
Abstruse comes from the Latin word “abstrusus” (put away, hidden). This word developed in turn from the word “abstrudere” (conceal), a combination of “ab” (from) + “trudere” (to push).
Did you Know?
Although this word sounds similar to “obtuse” (slow or difficult to understand), abstruse has both a different meaning and word root. Abstruse is derived from the Latin word “abstrusus” (hidden, put away), while obtuse is derived from the Latin word “obtustus” (to beat against). Although they have similar pronunciation and meanings, abstruse references something that has been obscured or is difficult to understand, while obtuse can also refer to someone who has difficulty understanding a clear situation.