Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
abstract (something) from (something or some place)
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.
1. To eliminate, omit, or disregard the details of something in order to generalize or simplify it at a conceptual level. A noun or pronoun can be used between "abstract" and "away." Remember that you will be delivering the results of your work to members of the public, so try to abstract away the more complicated aspects of the scientific theory. The agency abstracted the more sensitive details of the incident away, leaving a heavily redacted report that only revealed what happened in broad strokes.
2. In computer science, to hide, obscure, or mask the details of some process in order to simplify its functionality for the sake of usability. A noun or pronoun can be used between "abstract" and "away." Even simple actions on the computer create incredibly complicated processes in the software, but programmers have abstracted away the more nitty-gritty details in order to keep the average user from getting overwhelmed.
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.
in the abstract
In a manner that is intangible or outside the constraints or possibilities of the real world. Love is something that exists in the abstract—it's very hard to define what makes love real.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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?
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
in the abstract
In a way that is conceptual or theoretical, as opposed to actual or empirical.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.