ab·​so·​lute·​ly ˈab-sə-ˌlüt-lē How to pronounce absolutely (audio)
: in an absolute manner: such as
: completely or totally
absolutely certain
an absolutely clear explanation
often used as an intensive
an absolutely brilliant performancean absolutely awful experienceYou're absolutely right.
: with unlimited power
ruling absolutely
used in speech as a forceful way of saying "yes" or of expressing agreement
"Would you like to see a movie tonight?" "Absolutely!""We all need to work harder." "Absolutely!"
used in speech in the phrase absolutely not as a forceful way of saying "no" or of expressing disagreement
"Do you think he's right?" "Absolutely not!"
mathematics : with respect to absolute values
an absolutely convergent series

Example Sentences

He is absolutely certain who will win. Let me make one thing absolutely clear. Keep absolutely quiet during the movie.
Recent Examples on the Web There was absolutely a 100-percent correlation between no glasses and the line going fuzzy at the edges. Caity Weaver, New York Times, 23 Nov. 2022 Adjunct professor, a consulting gig, doing absolutely nothing? Bypaolo Confino, Fortune, 21 Nov. 2022 One pair of savvy businessmen staked out property lines for an estimated forty thousand five-acre lots, graded the roads meant to connect them, and then did absolutely nothing else, except profligately promote their product. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, 21 Nov. 2022 Lawson, a Japanese convenience store chain, posits that absolutely nothing matters, so eat a piece of flavorless candy. Li Goldstein, Bon Appétit, 18 Nov. 2022 On that note, what definitely shouldn’t happen—but is absolutely in the cards—is a turn toward draconian enforcement of a different type. Felipe De La Hoz, The New Republic, 18 Nov. 2022 Oftentimes in today’s market, with all the growing systems behind the scenes begin to look the same, all the big growers are going to the same contractors using the same methods, absolutely nothing differentiates them other than their genetics. Lindsey Bartlett, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2022 There's absolutely nothing wrong with expressing yourself IRL and online — and many of your favorite YouTubers love doing just that on Instagram. Seventeen.com Editors, Seventeen, 7 Nov. 2022 And absolutely nothing captures the magic of the Christmas Day anticipation like an advent calendar. Hannah Jones, Country Living, 4 Nov. 2022 See More

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

Word History


Middle English, from absolut absolute + -ly -ly entry 2

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of absolutely was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near absolutely

Cite this Entry

“Absolutely.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/absolutely. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


ab·​so·​lute·​ly ˈab-sə-ˌlüt-lē How to pronounce absolutely (audio)
: in an absolute way : completely or definitely
you are absolutely right
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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