ab·​sur·​di·​ty | \ əb-ˈsər-də-tē How to pronounce absurdity (audio) , -ˈzər- How to pronounce absurdity (audio) \
plural absurdities

Definition of absurdity

1 : the quality or state of being absurd : absurdness They laughed at the absurdity of the situation.
2 : something that is absurd the absurdities of life

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Examples of absurdity in a Sentence

to say men can't cook as well as women is of course an absurdity the absurdity of expecting a 98-year-old woman to adequately supervise four six-year-olds
Recent Examples on the Web In 2014, serious policy — the Syrian conflict featuring ISIS — was usurped by the absurdity of a suit’s color. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Five years ago: The tan suit scandal that rocked DC!," 28 Aug. 2019 Any book that delves deeply into the psyche of a country—or even presumes that countries have psyches—is bound to occasionally skirt the edges of absurdity. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "From Little Englanders to Brexiteers," 11 Nov. 2019 This sort of absurdity is part of the charm of the beautifully impractical Chiron. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, "Road tripping in a $3 million Bugatti," 5 Oct. 2019 Our rhetoric will remain overheated, and our hyperbole will reach new heights of absurdity — perfect grist for Sunday morning news shows and late-night comedians. Gary Abernathy, Twin Cities, "Gary Abernathy: How does this all end? Just as it should: With the 2020 election.," 3 Oct. 2019 The anecdotes, some of which are funny, some horrifying, are edged with a bleak sense of absurdity and shadowed by the rapid onset of oblivion. New York Times, "‘The Irishman’ Review: The Mob’s Greatest Hits, in a Somber Key," 27 Sep. 2019 Think about the absurdity of this: Companies are using a material made to last forever to produce products designed to be used once and then thrown away. WSJ, "The Issue Is Near-Eternal Plastic Containers," 10 July 2019 In the end the movie tilts a little more than Get Out (which did deal in possession and soul-horror, albeit without an explicitly satanic element) toward splatter and absurdity, a little less toward metaphysical dread. Ross Douthat, National Review, "Horror-Comedy Ready or Not Plays on Primal Human Fears," 12 Sep. 2019 Ecoterrorism loses the aura of absurdity when every month brings a new estimate of the coming death toll from our melting ice caps. Madeleine Schwartz, The New Yorker, "Nell Zink’s Satire Raises the Stakes," 26 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'absurdity.' 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 absurdity

circa 1525, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for absurdity

Middle English absurditee "dissonance, unjust practice," borrowed from Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French absurdité, borrowed from Late Latin absurditāt-, absurditās, from Latin absurdus absurd entry 1 + -itāt-, -itās -ity

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Learn More about absurdity

Time Traveler for absurdity

Time Traveler

The first known use of absurdity was circa 1525

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Statistics for absurdity

Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Absurdity.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/absurdities. Accessed 5 December 2019.

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More Definitions for absurdity


ab·​sur·​di·​ty | \ əb-ˈsər-də-tē How to pronounce absurdity (audio) , -ˈzər-\
plural absurdities

Kids Definition of absurdity

1 : the fact of being ridiculous the absurdity of the situation
2 : something that is ridiculous Every day there is some new absurdity to deal with.

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