absolute

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for absolute

Synonyms

arbitrary, autocratic (also autocratical), czarist (also tsarist), despotic, dictatorial, monocratic, tyrannical (also tyrannic), tyrannous

Antonyms

limited

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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

Weakness: Cabbage An incredible mass to shift for opposition managers and is used to taking an absolute hammering. SI.com, "Premier League Managers: Ranking All 20 Bosses by How Hard They Are," 6 Aug. 2019 There, under Catherine’s absolute authority, any potential imperial ambitions could be quashed. National Geographic, "This 'pretender princess' tried to steal Catherine the Great's throne," 6 Aug. 2019 But that’s where the show succeeds most: in its depiction of teenagers at their absolute worst and messiest, especially the teenage girls. Alice Lesperance, Teen Vogue, "Euphoria's Kat Is Not the Fat Teenage Girl Trope You've Seen Before," 5 Aug. 2019 Her absolute greatest joy was in time spent with her three grandchildren. courant.com, "Doris May McDonald Coope," 2 Aug. 2019 One of my absolute favorite indulgences is fragrances. Angela Bassett, Marie Claire, "Angela Bassett Is a Procrastinator, but She'll Plan a Great Vacation for You...Eventually," 31 July 2019 For example, the chairman of the Senate’s Appropriations Committee, Alabama Republican Richard Shelby, has near absolute control over the agency’s budget. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Half a century after Apollo, why haven’t we been back to the Moon?," 19 July 2019 Exercising absolute control over a complex, multimillion-dollar, high-speed machine that requires the ultimate in training, superior intellectual input, and psychomotor reaction requires such a personality. Emily Ludolph, New York Times, "Ed Dwight Was Set to Be the First Black Astronaut. Here’s Why That Never Happened.," 16 July 2019 In a world of perfect targeting, where the advertiser has absolute control of the user experience and knows all Facebook user data, no optimization would be necessary. Antonio García Martínez, WIRED, "Are Facebook Ads Discriminatory? It’s Complicated," 11 June 2019

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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Statistics for absolute

Last Updated

9 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for absolute

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

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More Definitions for absolute

absolute

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of absolute

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

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

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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

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Comments on absolute

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