Learning English

Word: Abstruse

Abstruse [Adjective]

Sentence: The reader who assumes that abstruse prose is clever prose, or that there is a reliable correlation between opacity and depth, is bound to waste a lot of time on writing that doesn’t deserve it. (Source: www.nytimes.com)

Meaning: Hard to understand; Obscure

How To Remember?

The “Abs-” part of “Abstruse” should remind you of “Abstract“. Abstract art can be very difficult to understand, right? Additionally, the “-struse” part should remind you of “Obtuse“. The word “Obtuse” is used to describe not only an angle more than 90 degrees and less than 180 but also a person who understands things a bit slowly.

So, for an obtuse person, most things may be abstruse.

The Confusion?

Convoluted writings are difficult to follow. But so are abstruse writings or thoughts. So what is the difference? (Check the meaning of “Convoluted” here by clicking on it.)

In our opinion, convoluted writings would be complex because of the style of writing. But abstruse writings are difficult to understand because the subject matter is complex or obscure. It may also be difficult to comprehend abstruse writings because the author is not disclosing the entire information and not necessarily because the writing style is complex.

The act of writing has been used above to drive home the difference between the words.



For more words, click here!


Picture Credit: abstrusegoose.com

[Programming can be abstruse for someone who is not well versed with the basics of programming or a programming language. But say, you start reading a book on C++, and the author has written in a very complicated manner, then you would say that the book is convoluted.]

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