Definition of absurd
- an absurd argument
- absurd humor
- an absurd universe
- an absurd existence
The charges against him are obviously absurd.
absurd claims of having been abducted by UFO's
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'absurd.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Absurd contains the rarer related adjective surd, which, like absurd, derives from the Latin surdus ("deaf, silent, stupid").
Surd can mean "lacking sense or irrational," much like absurd:
While the grandparents might scratch their heads at the Star Wars references, the actors and perhaps some younger parents likely delighted in manic, jumbled and surd structure of the play.
–Patrick Clement, Kiowa County Signal (Greensburg, Kansas), 23 Jan. 2013
Absurd, however, stresses a lack of logical sense or harmonious agreement, of parts (such as a premise and a conclusion) not fitting together. In philosophy, it describes the problem of trying to distill meaning from one's experiences. In A Discourse on Novelty and Creation (1975), Carl R. Hausman writes, "There is an incongruity, an inconsistency, a conflict with a context that appears as lawful, orderly experience. As [Albert] Camus points out, absurdity 'springs from a comparison,' a comparison between two aspects of reality which seem to be out of harmony."
asinine, balmy, brainless, cockeyed, crackpot, crazy, cuckoo, daffy, daft, dippy, dotty, fatuous, featherheaded, fool, foolish, half-baked, half-witted, harebrained, inept, insane, jerky, kooky (also kookie), loony (also looney), lunatic, lunkheaded, mad, nonsensical, nutty, preposterous, sappy, screwball, senseless, silly, simpleminded, stupid, tomfool, unwise, wacky (also whacky), weak-minded, witless, zany;
airheaded, birdbrained, brain-dead, chowderheaded, chuckleheaded, clueless, dense, dim, dim-witted, doltish, dopey (also dopy), dorky [slang], dull, dumb, dunderheaded, empty-headed, fatuous, feebleminded, idiotic (also idiotical), imbecile (or imbecilic), knuckleheaded, lamebrain (or lamebrained), mindless, moronic, oafish, obtuse, opaque, pinheaded, simple, slow, slow-witted, soft, softheaded, thoughtless, thick, thickheaded, unintelligent, vacuous, witless;
out to lunch;
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