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 The absurdity of the 81-yard touchdown in that situation is hard to overstate. oregonlive, "Contextualizing the rarity of an 81-yard touchdown on third-and-16 and how Oregon Ducks intend to address pass coverage," 27 Nov. 2019 His daughter’s alarming body is itself an embodiment of the lie of race, the incarnation of its utter and elemental absurdity. Emily Bernard, Harper's magazine, "Autobiography of an Ex-Black Man," 25 Nov. 2019 Trump’s argument, injected into him by subordinates who understand that absurdity is his vocation, is essentially that the Constitution’s impeachment provisions are unconstitutional. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: The spiraling president adds self-impeachment to his repertoire," 13 Oct. 2019 Preacher’s absurdity is deliberate and philosophical. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "Preacher is unwatched, unloved, and doomed — but Tulip O’Hare goes on," 14 Aug. 2019 Honestly, Nadal at the French Open is a clause that, reflexively, triggers a smile simply because of its absurdity. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Mailbag: Seven Reasons Why Mid-Match Coaching is a Terrible Idea," 19 June 2019 Adejuyigbe punctuates the absurdity of the gaslighting taking place in that song by reframing it as the story of a murder. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "The 50 Best Podcasts to Listen to Right Now," 20 Dec. 2019 The news of Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan’s banana — which sold for six figures — had come to represent the absurdity of the art world. BostonGlobe.com, "The caption identified the woman in it as “a visitor.”," 15 Dec. 2019 The possible disruption to this year’s plays touched a nerve at a time when many Britons are fed up with the absurdities of national politics. The Economist, "In the bleak midwinter Nativity plays occupy a vexed place in Britain’s national psyche," 11 Dec. 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

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Absurdity.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/absurdity. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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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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Comments on absurdity

What made you want to look up absurdity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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