Definition of absolute in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈabsəˌlo͞ot/
Pronunciation: /ˌabsəˈlo͞ot/


1Not qualified or diminished in any way; total: absolute secrecy absolute silence the attention he gave you was absolute
More example sentences
  • Because, as the hatchway ground shut at the center of his dazed vision, something far more shocking took hold - a total and absolute silence.
  • Wilkinson is a desperately complex person, driven by a need for absolute perfection and total control in his life.
  • When I saw it, the entire audience left the theatre in absolute silence.
complete, total, utter, out-and-out, outright, entire, perfect, pure, decided;
thorough, thoroughgoing, undivided, unqualified, unadulterated, unalloyed, unmodified, unreserved, downright, undiluted, consummate, unmitigated, sheer, arrant, rank, dyed-in-the-wool
1.1Used for general emphasis when expressing an opinion: the policy is absolute folly
More example sentences
  • Worse apparently is the fact that many garden beds are edged with untreated timber - an absolute no-no in their opinion.
  • The original trilogy is an absolute classic in my opinion so I would be surprised if I ever would like a remake.
  • Coming to any form of decision under these conditions was, in his opinion, an absolute miracle.
definite, certain, positive, unconditional, categorical, unquestionable, incontrovertible, undoubted, unequivocal, decisive, conclusive, confirmed, infallible
1.2(Of powers or rights) not subject to any limitation; unconditional: no one dared challenge her absolute authority human right to life is absolute
More example sentences
  • It is, however, not an absolute right and is subject to reasonable limitations.
  • It was not an absolute right but any limitation of it had to be justified on reasonable grounds.
  • Corporations thus acquire absolute rights without responsibility, and citizens and the state carry all the responsibilities without the corresponding rights.
unlimited, unrestricted, unrestrained, unbounded, boundless, infinite, ultimate, total, supreme, unconditional
1.3(Of a ruler) having unrestricted power: he proclaimed himself absolute monarch
More example sentences
  • A great character: he's portrayed as being benign, a dictator, absolute ruler, yes, but beloved by his people.
  • Nevertheless, even absolute monarchs or totalitarian dictators are constrained by forces beyond their control.
  • Under the Australian constitution, drawn up in 1901, the governor-general has the powers of an absolute dictator.
autocratic, despotic, dictatorial, tyrannical, tyrannous, absolutist, authoritarian, arbitrary, autonomous, sovereign, autarchic, autarchical, omnipotent
1.4 Law (Of a decree) final: the decree of nullity was made absolute
More example sentences
  • Microsoft said that would not do and it should have an absolute injunction, both as regards copyright and trade marks.
  • But at page 253 Justice Sheller proposed an order making absolute the order nisi for certiorari.
  • The garnishee order nisi was not made absolute and the proceedings founded on it were stayed.
1.5 Law see absolute title.
2Viewed or existing independently and not in relation to other things; not relative or comparative: absolute moral standards
More example sentences
  • All wheat parameters we studied were unresponsive to blue light, so comparisons between relative and absolute blue light responses are not meaningful.
  • But many economists believe that relative poverty rather than absolute standards is what matters.
  • The right will no doubt point out that this is a comparison of relative, rather than absolute poverty.
universal, fixed, independent, nonrelative, nonvariable, absolutist
2.1 Grammar (Of a construction) syntactically independent of the rest of the sentence, as in: dinner being over, we left the table
More example sentences
  • An absolute clause is not introduced by a subordinating conjunction: after having prepared the dinner and while preparing the dinner are not absolute clauses.
2.2 Grammar (Of a transitive verb) used without an expressed object (e.g., guns kill).
Example sentences
  • Verbs grouped as absolute, relative, or nounal.
  • I grouped them as absolute verbs, relative verbs, and nounal verbs.
2.3 Grammar (Of an adjective) used without an expressed noun (e.g., the brave).
Example sentences
  • Though indefinite by default, the absolute quantifiers can be rendered definite through the use of a definite determiner.


1 Philosophy A value or principle that is regarded as universally valid or that may be viewed without relation to other things: good and evil are presented as absolutes
More example sentences
  • Their virtue is made of sterner stuff: principles, absolutes, black and white stuff that doesn't admit of any kind of grey.
  • Principles are not absolutes, but have to be given a weight.
  • The value and rightness of knowledge are not empirical absolutes, and the benefit of truth does not fit everyone the same.
1.1 (the absolute) Philosophy That which exists without being dependent on anything else.
Example sentences
  • Chittamatra, or Mind-Only school, presents a threefold classification of reality as the imaginary, the dependent and the absolute.
  • The devotees sing bhajans, chant incantations, and priests perform aarti and puja, invoking the blessings of Shiva, the divine, the pure, the absolute.
  • The order of reason accepts that the world is the realm of the relative; the order of prophecy imposes upon the world the pattern of the absolute.
1.2 (the absolute) Theology Ultimate reality; God.
Example sentences
  • This path also includes Daath, the ultimate balance between the Absolute and Creation.
  • Left wing Hegelians associated the Absolute with material reality.
  • Harmonizing the aspects of the Ruach around the Sun prepares the aspirant for the leap into the Abyss, where all knowledge is challenged and shown as simply a facet, or a reflection, of the Absolute.



Pronunciation: /ˈabsəˌlo͞otnəs/
Pronunciation: /ˌabsəˈlo͞otnəs/
Example sentences
  • No one should ever use the role of teacher to demean the ideas of others or insist on the absoluteness of an opinion, much less press erroneous assertions.
  • What unites both liberals and conservatives is their mutual insistence on the exclusivity and absoluteness of their vision.
  • The upsetting part of this story is the absoluteness of technology and the irrelevance of humanity.


Late Middle English: from Latin absolutus 'freed, unrestricted', past participle of absolvere (see absolve).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ab·so·lute

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