Definition of absurd
1 : ridiculously unreasonable, unsound, or incongruous an absurd argument : extremely silly or ridiculous absurd humor
2 : having no rational or orderly relationship to human life : meaningless an absurd universe; also : lacking order or value an absurd existence
Examples of absurd in a sentence
In an era when federal judges issue rulings that in their impact often rival the lawmaking of any legislature in the land, it is increasingly absurd that their proceedings should remain off-limits to the same wider public scrutiny that news cameras have brought to courts in 48 states. —Editor & Publisher, 14 July 2003
By the time Showalter was fired one day after the end of last season, the stories of how he carried his attention to detail to absurd lengths—including his insistence that the A on the players' socks be completely visible—had been well circulated. —Phil Taylor, Sports Illustrated, 30 July 2001
This criticism, patently absurd to anyone who has read even a handful of Updike's more than 40 books, nevertheless has been made so often that it is worth Pritchard's long rebuttal. —Jonathan Wilson, New York Times Book Review, 24 Sept. 2000
Yet from time to time, virtually every parent falls back on threats, often absurd ones that leave Mom and Dad feeling foolish and the problem unresolved. —Dorothy Foltz-Gray, Parenting, December/January 1996
The charges against him are obviously absurd.
absurd claims of having been abducted by UFO's
Making Sense of Absurd
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."
Origin and Etymology of absurd
Medieval French absurde, from Latin absurdus, from ab- + surdus deaf, stupid
First Known Use: 1530
ABSURD Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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