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- (mathematics, humorous) Details which are straightforward but so tedious that an author or lecturer would rather skip them (especially those of a category theoretical nature).
- (mathematics, humorous) Details which involve diagram chasing.
- 2016, Emily Riehl, Category Theory in Context (Aurora: Dover modern math originals), New York: Dover, →ISBN, OCLC 976394474, page x:
- 3Lang’s Algebra [Lan02, p. 759] supports the general consensus that this was not intended as an epithet:
In the forties and fifties (mostly in the works of Cartan, Eilenberg, MacLane, and Steenrod, see [CE56]), it was realized that there was a systematic way of developing certain relations of linear algebra, depending only on fairly general constructions which were mostly arrow-theoretic, and were affectionately called abstract nonsense by Steenrod.
- (mathematics, humorous) Category theory in general.
- (skipped details): handwave
straightforward and tedious details