from The Century Dictionary.

  • Free from every restriction; unconditional: as, the only absolute necessity is logical necessity; absolute skepticism; absolute proof.
  • Perfect; complete; entire; possessed as a quality in the highest degree, or possessing the essential characteristics of the attribute named in the highest degree: as, absolute purity; absolute liberty.
  • Hence Perfect; free from imperfection: sometimes applied to persons.
  • Fixed; determined: not merely provisional; irrevocable.
  • Viewed independently of other similar things; not considered with reference to other similar things as standards; not comparative merely: opposed to relative: as, absolute position; absolute velocity (see below).
  • Unlimited in certain essential respects; arbitrary; despotic: applied especially to a system of government in which the will of the sovereign is comparatively unhampered by laws or usage: as, an absolute monarchy.
  • Certain; infallible.
  • Domineering; peremptory; exacting strict obedience.
  • Ultimate; not derived from anything else: as, an absolute principle. Immeasurable; not definable by measurement; not led up to by insensible gradations: as, the distinction between right and wrong is absolute.
  • In grammar, standing out of the usual syntactical relation or construction: applied to the case of a noun and an adjunct in no relation of dependence upon the rest of the sentence, and defining the time or circumstances of an action: as, the genitive absolute in Greek, the ablative absolute in Latin, the locative absolute in Sanskrit, and the nominative absolute in English.
  • noun In metaphysics: That which is free from any restriction, or is unconditioned; hence, the ultimate ground of all things; God: as, it is absurd to place a limit to the power of the Absolute.
  • noun That which is perfect or complete: as, its beauty approaches the absolute. That which is independent of some or all relations; the non-relative.
  • noun In mathematics, a locus whose projective relation to any two elements may be considered as constituting the metrical relation of these elements to one another.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Loosed from any limitation or condition; uncontrolled; unrestricted; unconditional
  • adjective Complete in itself; perfect; consummate; faultless
  • adjective Viewed apart from modifying influences or without comparison with other objects; actual; real; -- opposed to relative and comparative
  • adjective Loosed from, or unconnected by, dependence on any other being; self-existent; self-sufficing.
  • adjective Capable of being thought or conceived by itself alone; unconditioned; non-relative.
  • adjective rare Positive; clear; certain; not doubtful.
  • adjective rare Authoritative; peremptory.
  • adjective (Chem.) Pure; unmixed.
  • adjective (Gram.) Not immediately dependent on the other parts of the sentence in government. See Ablative absolute, under Ablative.
  • adjective (Geom.) that curvature of a curve of double curvature, which is measured in the osculating plane of the curve.
  • adjective (Astron.) the sum of the optic and eccentric equations.
  • adjective (Physics) space considered without relation to material limits or objects.
  • adjective (Alg.) such as are known, or which do not contain the unknown quantity.
  • adjective (Physics) the temperature as measured on a scale determined by certain general thermo-dynamic principles, and reckoned from the absolute zero.
  • adjective (Physics) the be ginning, or zero point, in the scale of absolute temperature. It is equivalent to -273° centigrade or -459.4° Fahrenheit.
  • noun (Geom.) In a plane, the two imaginary circular points at infinity; in space of three dimensions, the imaginary circle at infinity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective physics Independent of arbitrary units of measurement not comparative or relative as,
  • adjective law Complete; unconditional; final; without encumbrances; not liable to change or cancellation.
  • adjective education Pertaining to a grading system based on the knowledge of the individual and not on the comparative knowledge of the group of students.
  • adjective art Concerned entirely with expressing beauty and feelings, lacking meaningful reference.
  • adjective dance Utilizing the body to express ideas, independent of music and costumes.
  • adjective mathematics Indicating an expression that is true for all real number; unconditional.
  • noun geometry In a plane, the two imaginary circular points at infinity; in space of three dimensions, the imaginary circle at infinity.
  • noun philosophy, usually capitalized A realm which exists without reference to anything else; that which can be imagined purely by itself; absolute ego.
  • noun philosophy, usually capitalized The unity of spirit and nature; God.
  • noun philosophy, usually capitalized The whole of reality; the totality to which everything is reduced.
  • noun Concentrated natural flower oil, used for perfumes.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective expressing finality with no implication of possible change
  • adjective perfect or complete or pure
  • adjective not capable of being violated or infringed
  • adjective complete and without restriction or qualification; sometimes used informally as intensifiers
  • adjective not limited by law
  • noun something that is conceived or that exists independently and not in relation to other things; something that does not depend on anything else and is beyond human control; something that is not relative


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word absolute.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • This is also a Vodka. How do I put in that definition?

    March 30, 2009