absolute

play
adjective ab·so·lute \ ˈab-sə-ˌlüt , ˌab-sə-ˈ \

Definition of absolute

1 a :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
5 a :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

absolute

noun

absoluteness

noun

Examples of absolute in a Sentence

  1. You can't predict the future with absolute certainty.

  2. I have absolute faith in her ability to get the job done.

  3. He swore an oath of absolute secrecy.

  4. When it comes to using computers, I'm an absolute beginner.

  5. The country is ruled by an absolute dictator.

  6. The country is an absolute monarchy.

Recent Examples of absolute from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of absolute

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


ABSOLUTE Defined for English Language Learners

absolute

play
adjective

Definition of absolute for English Language Learners

  • : complete and total

  • : not limited in any way

  • : having unlimited power


ABSOLUTE Defined for Kids

absolute

play
adjective ab·so·lute \ ˈab-sə-ˌlüt \

Definition of absolute for Students

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

absolutely

adverb
  • absolutely certain

Medical Dictionary

absolute

play
adjective ab·so·lute \ ˌab-sə-ˈlüt \

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

Law Dictionary

absolute

adjective ab·so·lute

legal Definition of absolute

1 a :free from qualification, condition, exception, or restriction
  • rights that even seem absolute have these qualifications
  • Long 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

absolutely

adverb


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