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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).
2005 Industry Forecast - key Abstracting & Indexing trends.
Successful testing of a new product such as Abstracting always creates challenges that require the hospital and vendor to have a close working relationship," said David Boone, CVMC Chief Financial Officer.
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.
ingenta also signed an agreement with Cambridge Scientific Abstracts for links from its abstracting and indexing databases.
amp;uot;The BIOSIS Previews database is one of the leading abstracting and indexing database in the life sciences,&uot; states Pat Sabosik, Vice President &General Manager, ScienceDirect, &uot;and as such, will enrich our life sciences collection.