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

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Other Words from absolute

absolute noun
absoluteness noun

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Through it all however, Cherche has continued to be herself and an absolute joy to everyone — even while getting vaccines. The Arizona Republic, "Cherche and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week," 27 June 2020 As hospitality expert Ruth (Alison Wright) has shown us, Mr. Wilford has a habit of inspiring absolute loyalty in his underlings. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "After That Finale, Rowan Blanchard Just Became The Key To Snowpiercer Season 2," 13 July 2020 Watch the catch come in from a dockside table at Hudson's Seafood House on the Docks while sampling the absolute freshest shrimp served every which way, including New Orleans–style barbecued beauties. Stephanie Hunt, Southern Living, "The Ultimate South Carolina Shrimp Road Trip," 12 July 2020 The stuff is absolutely magical and makes cleaning up crud in a brew kettle or cleaning a fermenter between uses an absolute breeze. Parker Hall, Wired, "Everything You Need To Make Beer, Wine, Cider, and Mead," 11 July 2020 Trump's lawyers have argued that the president has absolute immunity while in office from grand jury investigations of criminal conduct. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court says President Trump cannot keep tax, financial records from prosecutors," 10 July 2020 Of course, every aspect of the work has to be an absolute replica of what is there today. David Lyman, The Enquirer, "Taft Museum of Art reopens for building's 200th anniversary," 10 July 2020 While there's no absolute way to compare the spread of the virus in Arizona to other places, a couple of other indicators — also tracked by Johns Hopkins — help give an idea of where Arizona stands. Jen Fifield, The Arizona Republic, "Is COVID-19 spreading more rapidly in Arizona than anywhere else in the world? Here's what data shows," 10 July 2020 The cast, beginning with Kiernan as everyone’s favorite teen witch, has been an absolute joy. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Sabrina showrunner hints the now-canceled Part 5 would've been Riverdale crossover," 10 July 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for absolute

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for absolute

Last Updated

2 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Absolute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/absolute. Accessed 5 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for absolute


How to pronounce absolute (audio) How to pronounce absolute (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of absolute

: complete and total
: not limited in any way
: having unlimited power


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


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

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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

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