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Abstract refers to an abbreviated history of an official record. Some common usages of the term “abstract” in a legal sense include:  

  • Abstract of title” merely recites what the land records disclose without giving opinion or advice as to the legal effect of what is found. It refers to all the important actions which are relevant to the title, such as filings of liens and encumbrances, any conveyances, transfers, assignments, and other facts relevant to the claimant's title.
  • “Abstract of record” sets forth all proceedings in a case in order for an appellate court to review the history of the trial court actions and determine whether the issues presented for review on appeal were properly preserved in the lower court.

[Last updated in November of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]