absolute

adjective
ab·​so·​lute | \ ˈab-sə-ˌlüt How to pronounce absolute (audio) , ˌab-sə-ˈlüt How to pronounce absolute (audio) \

Definition of absolute

1a : free from imperfection : perfect … it is a most absolute and excellent horse.— William Shakespeare
b : free or relatively free from mixture : pure absolute alcohol
c : outright, unmitigated an absolute lie
2 : being, governed by, or characteristic of a ruler or authority completely free from constitutional or other restraint absolute power
3 : having no restriction, exception, or qualification an absolute requirement absolute freedom
4 : positive, unquestionable absolute proof
5a : 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
6 : fundamental, ultimate absolute knowledge
7 : perfectly embodying the nature of a thing absolute justice
8 grammar
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.
9 : being self-sufficient and free of external references or relationships an absolute term in logic absolute music
10 : being the true distance from an aircraft to the earth's surface absolute altitude

Other Words from absolute

absolute noun
absoluteness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for absolute

Synonyms

Antonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of absolute in a Sentence

You can't predict the future with absolute certainty. I have absolute faith in her ability to get the job done. He swore an oath of absolute secrecy. When it comes to using computers, I'm an absolute beginner. The country is ruled by an absolute dictator. The country is an absolute monarchy. See More
Recent Examples on the Web There was a strong seven-inning, one-run start from a pitcher in Walker Buehler who still isn’t at his absolute best. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 9 May 2022 An alternative approach to an absolute and unconditional embargo on Russian oil and gas isn't unprecedented. Patrick Jenevein, Fortune, 12 Apr. 2022 Clarify where a boundary is a core need that is an absolute and where there is some flexibility. Tish Weinstock, Vogue, 11 Jan. 2022 Most of our rights — to privacy, property, expression and more — aren’t absolute. New York Times, 3 May 2022 What an absolute honor to be amongst such great men and women who have come before me and held this title in commitment to our nation! Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 29 Apr. 2022 Yes, markets are in turmoil because of uncertainty created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the absolute imperative of breaking Russia’s energy dominance over Europe. Suriya Jayanti, Time, 15 Mar. 2022 To even be in a room or be in a space with them, let alone work with them, would be an absolute dream. Paulina Jayne Isaac, Glamour, 14 Jan. 2022 The notes are magnolia, musk, tangerine, blueberry, Bulgarian rose absolute, geranium, and patchouli. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, 26 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'absolute.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of absolute

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for absolute

Middle English absolut, borrowed from Latin absolūtus, from past participle of absolvere "to set free, acquit, finish, complete" — more at absolve

Learn More About absolute

Time Traveler for absolute

Time Traveler

The first known use of absolute was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near absolute

absit omen

absolute

absolute altimeter

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for absolute

Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Absolute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/absolute. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for absolute

absolute

adjective
ab·​so·​lute | \ ˈab-sə-ˌlüt How to pronounce absolute (audio) \

Kids Definition of absolute

1 : total entry 1 sense 1, complete absolute darkness
2 : not limited in any way absolute power
3 : free from doubt : certain absolute proof

Other Words from absolute

absolutely adverb absolutely certain

absolute

adjective
ab·​so·​lute | \ ˌab-sə-ˈlüt How to pronounce absolute (audio) \

Medical Definition of absolute

1 : pure or relatively free from mixture absolute methanol
2 : relating to, measured on, or being a temperature scale based on absolute zero absolute temperature

absolute

adjective
ab·​so·​lute

Legal Definition of absolute

1a : free from qualification, condition, exception, or restriction rights that even seem absolute have these qualificationsLong 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 : final and not liable to modification sometimes used after the word it modifies divorce absolute — compare nisi

Other Words from absolute

absolutely adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on absolute

Nglish: Translation of absolute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of absolute for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about absolute

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!