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adjective ab·so·lute \ˈab-sə-ˌlüt, ˌab-sə-ˈ\

Simple Definition of absolute

  • : complete and total

  • : not limited in any way

  • : having unlimited power

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of absolute

  1. 1 a :  free from imperfection :  perfect <it is a most absolute and excellent horse — Shakespeare> b :  free or relatively free from mixture :  pure <absolute alcohol> c :  outright, unmitigated <an absolute lie>

  2. 2 :  being, governed by, or characteristic of a ruler or authority completely free from constitutional or other restraint <absolute power>

  3. 3 a :  standing apart from a normal or usual syntactical relation with other words or sentence elements <the absolute construction this being the case in the sentence “this being the case, let us go”> b of an adjective or possessive pronoun :  standing alone without a modified substantive <blind in “help the blind” and ours in “your work and ours” are absolute> c of a verb :  having no object in the particular construction under consideration though normally transitive <kill in “if looks could kill” is an absolute verb>

  4. 4 :  having no restriction, exception, or qualification <an absolute requirement> <absolute freedom>

  5. 5 :  positive, unquestionable <absolute proof>

  6. 6 a :  independent of arbitrary standards of measurement b :  relating to or derived in the simplest manner from the fundamental units of length, mass, and time <absolute electric units> c :  relating to, measured on, or being a temperature scale based on absolute zero <absolute temperature>; specifically :  kelvin <10° absolute>

  7. 7 :  fundamental, ultimate <absolute knowledge>

  8. 8 :  perfectly embodying the nature of a thing <absolute justice>

  9. 9 :  being self-sufficient and free of external references or relationships <an absolute term in logic> <absolute music>

  10. 10 :  being the true distance from an aircraft to the earth's surface <absolute altitude>

absolute noun
absoluteness noun

Examples of absolute in a sentence

  1. You can't predict the future with absolute certainty.

  2. I have absolute faith in her ability to get the job done.

  3. He swore an oath of absolute secrecy.

  4. When it comes to using computers, I'm an absolute beginner.

  5. The country is ruled by an absolute dictator.

  6. The country is an absolute monarchy.

Origin of absolute

Middle English absolut, from Anglo-French, from Latin absolutus, from past participle of absolvere to set free, absolve

First Known Use: 14th century

ABSOLUTE Defined for Kids


adjective ab·so·lute \ˈab-sə-ˌlüt\

Definition of absolute for Students

  1. 1 :  1total 1, complete <absolute darkness>

  2. 2 :  not limited in any way <absolute power>

  3. 3 :  free from doubt :  certain <absolute proof>

absolutely adverb <absolutely certain>

Medical Dictionary


adjective ab·so·lute \ˌab-sə-ˈlüt\

Medical Definition of absolute

  1. 1:  pure or relatively free from mixture <absolute methanol>

  2. 2:  relating to, measured on, or being a temperature scale based on absolute zero <absolute temperature>

Law Dictionary


adjective ab·so·lute

Legal Definition of absolute

  1. 1a :  free from qualification, condition, exception, or restriction <rights that even seem absolute have these qualifications — Long v. Rockwood, 277 U.S. 142 (1928)> — see also absolute ownership at ownership — compare qualified b in the civil law of Louisiana :  having or allowing no legal effect <an absolute impediment>

  2. 2 :  final and not liable to modification —sometimes used after the word it modifies <divorce absolute> — compare nisi

absolutely adverb

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