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adjective ab·surd \əb-ˈsərd, -ˈzərd\

Simple Definition of absurd

  • : extremely silly, foolish, or unreasonable : completely ridiculous

Full Definition of absurd

  1. 1 :  ridiculously unreasonable, unsound, or incongruous <an absurd argument>

  2. 2 :  having no rational or orderly relationship to human life :  meaningless <an absurd universe>; also :  lacking order or value <an absurd existence>

  3. 3 :  dealing with the absurd (see 2absurd) or with absurdism <absurd theater>

ab·surd·ly adverb
ab·surd·ness noun

Examples of absurd

  1. In an era when federal judges issue rulings that in their impact often rival the lawmaking of any legislature in the land, it is increasingly absurd that their proceedings should remain off-limits to the same wider public scrutiny that news cameras have brought to courts in 48 states. —Editor & Publisher, 14 July 2003

  2. By the time Showalter was fired one day after the end of last season, the stories of how he carried his attention to detail to absurd lengths—including his insistence that the A on the players' socks be completely visible—had been well circulated. —Phil Taylor, Sports Illustrated, 30 July 2001

  3. This criticism, patently absurd to anyone who has read even a handful of Updike's more than 40 books, nevertheless has been made so often that it is worth Pritchard's long rebuttal. —Jonathan Wilson, New York Times Book Review, 24 Sept. 2000

  4. Yet from time to time, virtually every parent falls back on threats, often absurd ones that leave Mom and Dad feeling foolish and the problem unresolved. —Dorothy Foltz-Gray, Parenting, December/January 1996

  5. The charges against him are obviously absurd.

  6. <absurd claims of having been abducted by UFO's>

Origin of absurd

Middle French absurde, from Latin absurdus, from ab- + surdus deaf, stupid

First Known Use: 1557



noun ab·surd \əb-ˈsərd, -ˈzərd\

Definition of absurd

  1. :  the state or condition in which human beings exist in an irrational and meaningless universe and in which human life has no ultimate meaning —usually used with the

Origin of absurd

(see 1absurd

First Known Use: 1946

Seen and Heard

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February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

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