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

In the 2019 report, the school’s absolute imbalance was down to 27.28 percent. Emily Brindley, courant.com, "Report: West Hartford schools are moving closer to racial balance, but 5 aren’t there yet," 8 July 2019 The absolute conviction with which Ms. Williamson speaks is truly refreshing. Ed Stockly, latimes.com, "Reader letters: Let the Marianne Williamson debate rage on," 8 July 2019 But Buddhism, whose adherents make up only 7 percent of the global faithful, is the only major religion whose population is not expected to grow in absolute numbers over the next few decades, according to the Pew Research Center. Hannah Beech, New York Times, "‘Our Duty to Fight’: The Rise of Militant Buddhism," 8 July 2019 Rapinoe was the absolute star of this World Cup for the USWNT. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "The heartbreaking story behind Megan Rapinoe's birthday shoutout to Brian," 7 July 2019 Isn’t that just part of some absolute lack of cultural awareness; the notion that certain Western cities are the epicenter of everything, and nothing else counts—or registers? Vogue, "How Nakhane, the South African Singer, Embraced His Queerness to Become an Unstoppable Force," 5 July 2019 Even with help, neither side in Libya looks able to achieve absolute victory. The Economist, "How to put Libya back together," 4 July 2019 This is an absolute necessity for hot summer days and will be perfect for New Orleans. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "ESSENCE Staffers Share Their Beauty Travel Must-Haves For Festival," 3 July 2019 The conditions of his probation include absolute sobriety, random drug tests and no use or possession of alcohol, controlled substances or drug paraphernalia. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former Brookfield Central High School star athlete Julian Banda has been sentenced to probation in drug case," 1 July 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

12 Jul 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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