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

My absolute favorite way to wear them is the office-chic route. Adrienne Faurote, Marie Claire, "The Item I Wear to Death: My Hi-Rise Agolde Jeans," 28 Nov. 2018 In part, of course; but also because probably no one before Mr. Marco had ever embodied the relationship between fiction and reality in such an absolute and sublime way. Mario Vargas Llosa, WSJ, "‘The Impostor’ Review: The Man Who Wasn’t There," 23 Aug. 2018 Apps: The absolute easiest way to find stars and planet in the sky is by using application on a smartphone. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Summer is for meteor showers and stargazing. Here’s how to watch.," 22 June 2018 Trevor Ariza will primarily be tasked with slowing Kevin Durant, and there's no absolute way of doing so, Ariza said. Brent Zwerneman, Houston Chronicle, "Rockets' Trevor Ariza draws tough assignment vs. Warriors' Kevin Durant," 12 May 2018 Our partnership on this show has been so sweet, so collaborative, so challenging (in the absolute BEST way). Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, "Grey's Anatomy: Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw Share Sweet Photos from Set Before Final Episode," 11 May 2018 For those of us partial to a perpetual post-vacation glow (without actually stepping on a plane or baking in the sun's harmful UV rays), self-tanner is an absolute godsend. Allure, "The Best Self-Tanners to Use on Your Face and Body This Summer," 22 Apr. 2019 His family laughed at his proclamation, but at that moment, Goins insisted with absolute certainty that his future would bring him back to East Lansing. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "The Final Four Star Who Is Also Paying Off His Student Loans," 5 Apr. 2019 As expected, Sayeed looked iconic in a classic black tux, and Storm was an absolute vision in pink tulle. Teen Vogue, "Storm Reid Attends Prom With Sayeed Shahidi," 14 Apr. 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

17 May 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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