adjective Etymology: Middle English absolut, from Anglo-French, from Latin absolutus, from past participle of absolvere to set free, absolve Date: 14th century 1. a. free from imperfection ; perfect <
it is a most absolute and excellent horse — Shakespeare
b. free or relatively free from mixture ; pure <
absolute alcohol
c. outright, unmitigated <
an absolute lie
2. being, governed by, or characteristic of a ruler or authority completely free from constitutional or other restraint <
absolute power
3. a. standing apart from a normal or usual syntactical relation with other words or sentence elements <
the absolute construction this being the case in the sentence “this being the case, let us go”
b. of an adjective or possessive pronoun standing alone without a modified substantive <
blind in “help the blind” and ours in “your work and ours” are absolute
c. of a verb having no object in the particular construction under consideration though normally transitive <
kill in “if looks could kill” is an absolute verb
4. having no restriction, exception, or qualification <
an absolute requirement
absolute freedom
5. positive, unquestionable <
absolute proof
6. a. independent of arbitrary standards of measurement b. relating to or derived in the simplest manner from the fundamental units of length, mass, and time <
absolute electric units
c. relating to, measured on, or being a temperature scale based on absolute zero <
absolute temperature
; specifically kelvin <
10° absolute
7. fundamental, ultimate <
absolute knowledge
8. perfectly embodying the nature of a thing <
absolute justice
9. being self-sufficient and free of external references or relationships <
an absolute term in logic
absolute music
10. being the true distance from an aircraft to the earth's surface <
absolute altitude
absolute nounabsoluteness noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • absolute — ab·so·lute adj 1 a: free from qualification, condition, exception, or restriction rights that even seem absolute have these qualifications Long v. Rockwood, 277 U.S. 142 (1927) see also absolute ownership at ownership compare …   Law dictionary

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  • absolute — ► ADJECTIVE 1) not qualified or diminished in any way; total. 2) having unlimited power: an absolute ruler. 3) not relative or comparative: absolute moral principles. 4) Grammar (of a construction) syntactically independent of the rest of the… …   English terms dictionary

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