Definition of absolute in English:


Syllabification: ab·so·lute
Pronunciation: /ˈabsəˌlo͞ot, ˌabsəˈlo͞ot


  • 1Not qualified or diminished in any way; total: absolute secrecy absolute silence the attention he gave you was absolute
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    • 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.
  • 1.1Used for general emphasis when expressing an opinion: the policy is absolute folly
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    • 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
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    • 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
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    • 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
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    • 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
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    • 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
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    • 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).
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    • 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).
    More example sentences
    • Though indefinite by default, the absolute quantifiers can be rendered definite through the use of a definite determiner.


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  • 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
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    • 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.
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    • 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.
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    • 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.



More 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).

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