Absolute zero
Absolute Ab"so*lute, a. [L. absolutus, p. p. of absolvere: cf. F. absolu. See {Absolve}.] 1. Loosed from any limitation or condition; uncontrolled; unrestricted; unconditional; as, absolute authority, monarchy, sovereignty, an absolute promise or command; absolute power; an absolute monarch. [1913 Webster]

2. Complete in itself; perfect; consummate; faultless; as, absolute perfection; absolute beauty. [1913 Webster]

So absolute she seems, And in herself complete. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

3. Viewed apart from modifying influences or without comparison with other objects; actual; real; -- opposed to {relative} and {comparative}; as, absolute motion; absolute time or space. [1913 Webster]

Note: Absolute rights and duties are such as pertain to man in a state of nature as contradistinguished from relative rights and duties, or such as pertain to him in his social relations. [1913 Webster]

4. Loosed from, or unconnected by, dependence on any other being; self-existent; self-sufficing. [1913 Webster]

Note: In this sense God is called the Absolute by the Theist. The term is also applied by the Pantheist to the universe, or the total of all existence, as only capable of relations in its parts to each other and to the whole, and as dependent for its existence and its phenomena on its mutually depending forces and their laws. [1913 Webster]

5. Capable of being thought or conceived by itself alone; unconditioned; non-relative. [1913 Webster]

Note: It is in dispute among philosopher whether the term, in this sense, is not applied to a mere logical fiction or abstraction, or whether the absolute, as thus defined, can be known, as a reality, by the human intellect. [1913 Webster]

To Cusa we can indeed articulately trace, word and thing, the recent philosophy of the absolute. --Sir W. Hamilton. [1913 Webster]

6. Positive; clear; certain; not doubtful. [R.] [1913 Webster]

I am absolute 't was very Cloten. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

7. Authoritative; peremptory. [R.] [1913 Webster]

The peddler stopped, and tapped her on the head, With absolute forefinger, brown and ringed. --Mrs. Browning. [1913 Webster]

8. (Chem.) Pure; unmixed; as, absolute alcohol. [1913 Webster]

9. (Gram.) Not immediately dependent on the other parts of the sentence in government; as, the case absolute. See {Ablative absolute}, under {Ablative}. [1913 Webster]

{Absolute curvature} (Geom.), that curvature of a curve of double curvature, which is measured in the osculating plane of the curve.

{Absolute equation} (Astron.), the sum of the optic and eccentric equations.

{Absolute space} (Physics), space considered without relation to material limits or objects.

{Absolute terms}. (Alg.), such as are known, or which do not contain the unknown quantity. --Davies & Peck.

{Absolute temperature} (Physics), the temperature as measured on a scale determined by certain general thermo-dynamic principles, and reckoned from the absolute zero.

{Absolute zero} (Physics), the be ginning, or zero point, in the scale of absolute temperature. It is equivalent to -273[deg] centigrade or -459.4[deg] Fahrenheit. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Positive; peremptory; certain; unconditional; unlimited; unrestricted; unqualified; arbitrary; despotic; autocratic. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Absolute zero — Zero e ro, n.; pl. {Zeros}or {Zeroes}. [F. z[ e]ro, from Ar. [,c]afrun, [,c]ifrun, empty, a cipher. Cf. {Cipher}.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Arith.) A cipher; nothing; naught. [1913 Webster] 2. The point from which the graduation of a scale, as of a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Absolute Zero — Éditeur Eidos Interactive Développeur Domark Dat …   Wikipédia en Français

  • absolute zero — the idea dates back to 1702 and its general value was guessed to within a few degrees soon thereafter, but not precisely discovered until Lord Kelvin s work in 1848. It was known by many names, e.g. infinite cold, absolute cold, natural zero of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • absolute zero — ► NOUN ▪ the lowest temperature theoretically possible (zero kelvins, 273.15°C) …   English terms dictionary

  • absolute zero — n a theoretical temperature characterized by complete absence of heat and equivalent to exactly 273.15°C or 459.67°F * * * the lowest possible temperature, designated as 0 on the Kelvin or Rankine scale; by definition this is equivalent to… …   Medical dictionary

  • absolute zero — n [U] the lowest temperature that is believed to be possible …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • absolute zero — noun uncount 273ºC or 460ºF, the lowest temperature that is possible in theory …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • absolute zero — n. the temperature at which matter has no heat and its molecules are completely still; theoretically, the lowest possible temperature: equal to about 273.16°C or about 459.69°F or 0°K …   English World dictionary

  • Absolute zero — For other uses, see Absolute Zero (disambiguation). Absolute zero is the theoretical temperature at which entropy reaches its minimum value. The laws of thermodynamics state that absolute zero cannot be reached using only thermodynamic means. A… …   Wikipedia

  • absolute zero — the temperature of 273.16°C ( 459.69°F), the hypothetical point at which all molecular activity ceases. * * * Temperature at which a thermodynamic system (see thermodynamics) has the lowest energy, 0 kelvin (K). It corresponds to 459.67°F (… …   Universalium

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