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abstract away (third-person singular simple present abstracts away, present participle abstracting away, simple past and past participle abstracted away)

  1. (transitive) To generalize concepts or their application by using abstraction into a more usable form.
    • 1903, George R. Montgomery, “The Epistemological Analysis”, in The Place of Values: An Essay in Epistemological Analysis, Bridgeport, Conn.: G. R. Montgomery, OCLC 7347375, page 39:
      It is abstract but purposely so because it stands for only part of consciousness or reality, abstracted away.
    • 1994, Theodore Scaltsas, “The Unity of Substance”, in Substances and Universals in Aristotle’s Metaphysics, Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, →ISBN, page 98:
      A test that shows that separateness is not a property of a substance is that we cannot abstract away separateness from our representation of a substance. Given a representation of a statue, we cannot do with "separateness" what we can do with "shape," that is, abstract it away. We cannot abstract away separateness and retain all other properties of the statue. Similarly, we cannot abstract away just the oneness of a statue and retain all else about it in our representation of it.
    • 2005, Simon Brown [et al.], “Tag Files and Simple Tags”, in Steve Anglin and Kevin Mukhar, editors, Pro JSP 2 (The Expert’s Voice in JAVA Technology), 4th edition, Berkeley, Calif.: Apress, →ISBN, page 256:
      Tag files provide a very simple way for content and functionality to be abstracted away from JSP pages and into reusable components.
    • 2012, Clive Fencott; Mike Lockyer; Jo Clay; Paul Massey, “You are the One”, in Game Invaders: The Theory and Understanding of Computer Games, Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, →ISBN, page 5:
      Theorizing is about trying to understand something by simplifying it, by abstracting away all the messy details and focusing in on a few remaining ones that we can better understand, but which still seem to capture the essence of that thing.
    • 2014, Saurav Das; Dan Talayco; Rob Sherwood, “Software-defined Networking and OpenFlow”, in Casimer DeCusatis, editor, Handbook of Fiber Optic Data Communication: A Practical Guide to Optical Networking, 4th edition, London; Waltham, Mass.: Academic Press, →ISBN, section 17.4.1 (Map Abstraction and the netOS), page 438:
      State collection and dissemination have been abstracted away from the application by the common-map abstraction.
  2. (transitive, by extension) To ignore, to omit.
    • 2003, Hongji Yang; Martin Ward, “Appendix B”, in Successful Evolution of Software Systems (Artech House Computing Library), Norwood, Mass.: Artech House, →ISBN, paragraph 5, page 268:
      State tests and exception handling are often used in programs to assure smooth execution. Although they may be important in system implementation, these details do not involve the crucial functionality of the system. Therefore, in a high-level specification, these details are unnecessary and should be abstracted away.
    • 2014, Joshua J. Drake [et al.], “Android Security Design and Architecture”, in Android Hacker’s Handbook, Indianapolis, Ind.: John Wiley & Sons, →ISBN, page 50:
      The Binder architecture abstracts away underlying details, making such method calls seem as though they were local function calls.