Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to abstract: abstract noun, Abstract class
An idea or thought that is intangible or outside the constraints or possibilities of the real world. Some regard love as but an abstract idea, as it is impossible to define what makes love real.
abstract (something) from
1. To take something without permission. Despite all of the company's security measures, hackers abstracted classified information from the server.
2. To extract key information from a longer document or text. I had to abstract all of the relevant information from that lengthy report and then present it to management.
abstract something from someone or something
to steal something from someone or something. (Formal.) The officer was found guilty of abstracting a rather large amount of money from the company.
abstract something from something
to take the important information from a longer document; to extract the essentials or the gist from a piece of complicated writing. Can you abstract a shorter article from this material?
in the abstract
In a way that is conceptual or theoretical, as opposed to actual or empirical.