absolute

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

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

But first, the (absolute) basics: Scotch is whisky made in Scotland. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "Demystifying Single Malt Scotch," 21 Nov. 2018 At the top end, the 20mph speed limit isn't an absolute, like the speed of light. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Faster and farther: Bulls Cross E8 electric bike review," 14 July 2018 But for the occasional lipsmack of the sea, the night silence is absolute. Horatio Clare, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why You Should Go to Belize Now," 21 Dec. 2018 The basic premise that paying an elite high school basketball player to attend a particular college is evidence of criminal conduct should not be accepted as a given or as an absolute truth. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Why Maryland Receiving FBI Subpoenas Should Worry Other College Programs, Basketball Players," 7 July 2018 One doesn’t need to believe in an absolute Truth in order to commit oneself to inquiry, compromise and reflection, although many of our students surely do have such beliefs. Michael S. Roth, Washington Post, "Our graduates should answer cynicism and insults with inquiry and reflection," 29 May 2018 The clearest example of that is how there are tens of thousands of religions in the world and every single one of those religions believes itself to be the absolute and only truth. Ed Masley, azcentral, "Steven Wilson tour: He really just wants people to enjoy the music, 'To the Bone'," 11 May 2018 Chrissy is an absolute sweetheart and an immensely talented and kindhearted woman. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "A Timeline of That Bizarre Rumor About Chrissy Metz and Alison Brie," 7 Jan. 2019 And by the way, not everything on this list is an absolute must-have for everyone because your home workout space should be customized to you. Alexa Tucker, SELF, "5 Things You Need to Build a Home Gym for Less Than $100, Plus 7 Optional Add-Ons," 4 Jan. 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

8 Feb 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 \

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 \

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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