Revised as of 14 February 2018
At first glance, abstruse and obtuse appear to mean the same thing. It is an abstruse concept. However, abstruse is an obscurity of intelligence. Something so cryptic that it is difficult to understand. Obtuse is more along the lines of stupid, thick, or dopey.
It’s not so much intelligent versus stupid, but difficult to understand because it’s so puzzling to most anyone versus simply being dumber than dirt.
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Difficult to understand
||Annoyingly insensitive or slow to understand
[Geometry; of an angle] More than 90° and less than 180°
[Of a leaf, petal, etc.] Rounded at the extremity
Pain or sound indistinctly felt or perceived
|It was a particularly an abstruse philosophical inquiry.
His classes did their best to avoid the professor’s abstruse lectures.
Why does the help sections of various software use such abstruse language?
|He wondered if the doctor was being deliberately obtuse.
Some of the lyrics are a bit obtuse.
The text was difficult to read, for it was so obtuse.
Peter draws acute, right, and obtuse angles with given points.
The calyx is small, smooth and divided into five obtuse sepals (Your Dictionary.com).
It differs from the true crocodile principally in having the head broader and shorter, and the snout more obtuse (Your Dictionary.com).
Adverb: obtusely, subobtusely
Noun: obtuseness, obtusity, subobtuseness
|History of the Word:|
|Late 16th century from the Latin abstrusus meaning put away or hidden, which is from abstrudere meaning conceal from ab- (from) + trudere (to push).||Late Middle English in the sense of blunt and is the from Latin obtusus, a past participle of obtundere meaning beat against.|
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?
Pinterest Photo Credits
Greek Philosopher Archimedes in His Bath by KoS has been released into the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.