abstract

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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.
See also: abstract

abstract away

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.
See also: abstract, away

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

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.
See also: abstract
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.
See also: abstract

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
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.
See also: abstract
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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Most abstracters were given a licence to take a fixed volume of water, regardless of availability.
In addition, it eased out the crew of volunteer, part-time abstracters to wonderful pastures of retirement and brought those essential functions in-house in Columbus, Ohio.
Currently we work with ALTA, analyzing and providing data collection for their ALTA Agents and Abstracters Survey.
Richard McCarthy, who manages the Land Title Assurance Company, a risk retention group based in Vermont, said his midsize captive, with about $7.5 million in gross written premiums, was formed in June 1987 by American Land Title Association, to provide its members, title agents and abstracters, with errors and omissions coverage.
That's because foreclosed properties, with their various liens and potentially checkered trails of ownership, require way more research by insurers, and "abstracters," which are like real-estate detectives, Richards said.
Abstract and literal thinkers can learn from each other, but the abstracters probably learn more from the literals than the other way around.
In his spare time, Pryor is involved with the American Land Title Association, where he is serving as the chair of the agents and abstracters section.
Abstracters also recorded information on maternal demographics, prenatal care, GBS screening, risk factors for GBS infection, intrapartum antibiotic administration, and gestational age at birth.