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abstract idea

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.
See also: abstract, idea

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.
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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?
See also: abstract

in the abstract

In a way that is conceptual or theoretical, as opposed to actual or empirical.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Hence, combining the two types of emerging metaphor, one based on metonymy--result for cause (Tendency I), and the other originating in discourse situations (Tendency II), what takes place is the modification of the former Old English structure and the increase in the level of abstractness.
b) Level of abstractness (see Table 1 for examples) will be positively related to negative affect, interrole conflict, and the presence of psychological symptoms, and negatively related to positive affect and satisfaction with life.
Leibniz sided with abstractness and heuristic power while abandoning the requirement of transparency.
For Milbank, philosophy itself, however radical, cannot mount an effective critique of liberalism and the modern state because it is limited by its own methodology; its abstractness and formalism prevent it from making the kind of substantive and content-rich moral and theological judgments that could expose liberalism's bankruptcy and present a viable alternative to the modern nation-state.
Normalized Distance from Main Sequence (D): D is the distance of a package from the idealized line Abstractness + Instability = 1 where Abstractness is defined as the ratio of the number of abstract classes to the total number of classes in the package and Instability is the ratio of efferent coupling (coupling outside package) to the total coupling.
And this was possible in poetry-we must leave the painting out since, though interesting and significant, it distracts from the main line of argument-because such allegorizing abstractness, developed in the realm of the emotional life, gave a new twist to the "dramatic monologue" or "personal lyric.
The author shows that prepositions tend to gradually lose much of their specificities, shifting from concreteness to abstractness as an indicator of "semantic generalisation" or erosion (Heine--Reh 1984; Hopper--Traugott 2003) over the course of Middle English.
Abstractness is important to Hass, who, as his introduction makes clear, appreciates poems which attend to an idea and strike a balance between metrics, formal freedom, and experimentality: "I needed an idea" (Introduction 21); "the best work is often being done in the interstices between" "a metrical," a "free verse," and "an experimental tradition" in contemporary American poetry (Introduction 21).
invalid for many reasons unrelated to their abstractness.
Dick without the heightened anguish, cynicism or abstractness.
Precision and clarity are maintained at high speed, yet the work's abstractness enhances the human immediacy of the dancers.
The inherent abstractness and fuzziness of principal values--such as merit, fairness, social justice--contributes to the difficulty of making the case for affirmative action initiatives that focus on such matters as income, jobs, university admissions, and political office.
Perhaps the main reason for this perception is the abstractness of mathematical concepts.
These parameters are sentence length, which looks at the number of tokens; sentence complexity, which measures the total number of punctuation marks and conjunctions without punctuation; and the level of abstractness of a text, derived from the percentage of regular deverbal nouns complicating the text, while nominalised phrases are more abstract than verbal ones (see Kerge 2003).
Malpas suggests that "the less a place is encompassed by our capacity to act or react, the more abstract must be our grasp of that place", and adds that, "in general, the move to more encompassing places is also a move to greater abstractness.