abstract

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Related to abstractly: abstractedly, abstract thought
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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 ?
However, people primed to think abstractly valued a career assessment tool that was accurate over a tool that was convenient (Freitas, Salovey, & Liberman, 2001).
And it is precisely this imitation or in Baudrillardean terms 'simulation' of the act of painting abstractly that I believe has captured so many people.
Young comes across as a Bill Frisell acolyte, abstractly floating and picking yee-haw tunes in turn.
Yet over time, said Piaget, Jacqueline's biological growth and experiences with the world would allow her to hold mental representations of objects in her mind, use deductive reasoning, see the world from another person's perspective, and think abstractly.
general intellectual ability, referring to the ability to think abstractly and to solve problems as measured by IQ tests;
Meakin traces "articulate" to its Latin root, which "denotes the joints or limbs of the body, or more abstractly, 'pieces', which are distinctly divided, yet form a coherent whole', hence, clear, distinct speech itself." Meakin continues, "An articulation is thus paradoxical, for it is a whole which is only whole o r coherent as a result of the differentiation of parts within itself" (20).
More abstractly, he also elucidates what he terms the "thought-world" (p.
Accompanied by a bare-bones guitar-bass-drums trio that includes the wonderful Dan Baird (formerly of the Georgia Satellites) on lead guitar, Hoge delivers a tight, concise lesson in pop songcraft that is every bit as emotionally satisfying as it is abstractly impressive.
Spoken languages use sets of agreed-upon symbols to express emotions and to reason abstractly. Communication through symbols, the quintessential human trait, is an absolute prerequisite for all other human action.
This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to determine abstractly which aspirants possess satisfactory" teaching skills." Meanwhile, there is widespread agreement that colleagues, supervisors, and families have at least a proximate ability to gauge whether a teacher is effective.
They are braver about this than adults, perhaps, because they haven't fully developed the ability to think abstractly. This may be their salvation, too, because they can't subtract the literal, concrete world from their religious ideas.
The mind, the ability to objectify and to think abstractly. And we've wasted it by everyone wanting a fanny pack and to go to the mall and to be paying 18 percent interest on things that we don't need, don't want, don't work, and can't give back.
It doesn't, as a rule, lead to learning how to see their choices more intelligently or more abstractly.
The method depends on archivists' ability to express abstractly the properties of electronic records that must be preserved.
Big, imposing Said Gharbi, a blind actor who is integrated seamlessly into the cast, recounts childhood fantasies of being a sponge, a fish, a bird; the piece deals abstractly with humankind's attempts to reconcile who we are with what we want.