absolute

adjective

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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web This sounds absolute, but the law is riddled with exceptions. Robert W. Wood, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 The King Signature Suite Ocean Front rooms are an absolute dream, with stunning terraces overlooking the sugary white sand. Meagan Drillinger, Travel + Leisure, 18 Feb. 2024 Then from there, attribute a motive for his choice that is the least personal, least insulting and absolute least reflection on your daughter (or you). Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, 18 Feb. 2024 That question of the extent to which someone is prepared to put their life on the line, whether that’s personally, professionally, or in an absolute and literal sense, for the sake of standing up for their beliefs, has always provided a rich seam for artists to mine. Catherine Bray, Variety, 17 Feb. 2024 If elected, what would your top 3 policy priorities be?: Border security is my absolute top priority. Harrison Mantas, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 15 Feb. 2024 In a landmark decision earlier this month, the three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit upheld Chutkan's decision denying Trump absolute immunity. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 14 Feb. 2024 Last week, a unanimous panel of three judges, two appointed by Biden and one appointed by a Republican president, sharply rejected Trump's novel claim that former presidents enjoy absolute immunity for actions that fall within their official job duties. Compiled Bydemocrat-Gazette Stafffrom Wire Reports, arkansasonline.com, 13 Feb. 2024 For everyone to come out and support me meant the absolute world. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'absolute.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near absolute

Cite this Entry

“Absolute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/absolute. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

absolute

adjective
1
a
: free from imperfection : perfect
b
: free or nearly free from mixture : pure
absolute alcohol
2
: free from restraint or limitation
absolute power
an absolute monarch
3
: having no exceptions
an absolute requirement
absolute freedom
4
: free from doubt : certain
absolute proof
5
a
: independent of standards of measurement that reflect individual choice : actual
absolute brightness of a star
absolute motion
b
: relating to or coming from the basic units of length, mass, and time
absolute electric units
c
: relating to the absolute-temperature scale
10° absolute
absoluteness
-ˌlüt-nəs
-ˈlüt-
noun

Medical Definition

absolute

adjective
ab·​so·​lute ˌab-sə-ˈlüt How to pronounce absolute (audio)
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

Legal Definition

absolute

adjective
ab·​so·​lute
1
a
: 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
absolutely adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on absolute

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