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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

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.
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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?
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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 ?
Here analogies can be drawn between the process of abstracting and the process of indexing (Lancaster, 1998).
The idea of consistency in abstracting is similar to consistency in subject indexing.
According to Michael Wilstead, QuadraMed President and Chief Operating Officer, "Our customers have come to expect us to develop innovative new products such as Quantim Abstracting that not only meet their needs today, but anticipate future needs.
As the world's largest life sciences indexing and abstracting service, BIOSIS provides this knowledge in a variety of formats to suit the needs of modern researchers.
By providing 3M's market-leading abstracting system to companies like LanVision, we can make it possible for customers to abstract medical records from any off-site location," Eklund says.
According to Brian Patsy, president and CEO of LanVision, software products available today do not provide a comprehensive remote coding and abstracting solution.
It will also enable ingenta users to link, for example, from a record in an abstracting and indexing database to the electronic full text in ingenta - free to the desktop for subscribers or as a pay-per-view option for non-subscribers.
As the world's largest life sciences abstracting and indexing service, BIOSIS provides vital sources of information for life scientists in a variety of formats to suit the needs of modern researchers.