1 : absolute, unqualified
2 : of, relating to, or constituting a category
Did You Know?
The ancestor of categorical and category has been important in logic and philosophy since the days of Aristotle. Both English words derive from Greek katēgoria, which Aristotle used to name the 10 fundamental classes (also called "predications" or "assertions") of terms, things, or ideas into which he felt human knowledge could be organized. Ironically, although those categories and things categorical are supposed to be absolute and fundamental, philosophers have long argued about the number and type of categories that exist and their role in understanding the world. High-level philosophical disputes aside, the word categorical continues to refer to an absolute assertion, one that involves no conditions or hypotheses (for example, the statement "all humans are mortal").
"For his part, Morell, who became deputy CIA director in 2010 and twice served as acting director before retiring in 2013, was categorical in his denial." - Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy DC, May 13, 2015
"Following the AT&T Byron Nelson (tournament), Spieth ranked as the No. 12 celebrity people aspire to be in the future. His other categorical rankings-from endorsement to influence to trend-setter to trustworthiness-all saw similar results." - Candace Carlisle, Dallas Business Journal, June 10, 2015
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