to abstract: to take out of context, to remove the essence of, to reduce to a pastel shade of, to lose focus of, to bore to the death of, to space out of... abstraction is DIStraction sans SATISfaction. Try it! Abstract a steaming cup of cocoa with marshmellows floating among the bubbles of cream and chocolate... does it taste as good? We use abstraction to escape when life is too intense. Name something that you have abstracted lately? Then go back and see is for what it really is.

Alternatively, modularized, in the sense of one component of a larger system.

For example: In DOS, programs are free to directly diddle a computer's various hardware devices (ports and the like) in any manner they please. In other operating systems (Windows NT for instance), the hardware devices are abstracted, such that they can only be accessed indirectly through the APIs provided by the system. Windows NT uses a Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) to accomplish this.

Supposedly this is meant to prevent crashes caused by applications which make improvident use of the hardware, though many NT users would say otherwise.

Ab*stract"ed (#), a.


Separated or disconnected; withdrawn; removed; apart.

The evil abstracted stood from his own evil. Milton.


Separated from matter; abstract; ideal.



Abstract; abstruse; difficult.




Inattentive to surrounding objects; absent in mind.

"An abstracted scholar."



© Webster 1913.

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