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Webster 1913 Edition


Absolute

Ab′so-lute

,
Adj.
[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.
2.
Complete in itself; perfect; consummate; faultless;
as,
absolute
perfection;
absolute
beauty.
So
absolute
she seems,
And in herself complete.
Milton.
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.
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.
4.
Loosed from, or unconnected by, dependence on any other being; self-existent; self-sufficing.
☞ 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.
5.
Capable of being thought or conceived by itself alone; unconditioned; non-relative.
☞ 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.
To Cusa we can indeed articulately trace, word and thing, the recent philosophy of
the absolute
.
Sir W. Hamilton.
6.
Positive; clear; certain; not doubtful.
[R.]
I am
absolute
’t was very Cloten.
Shakespeare
7.
Authoritative; peremptory.
[R.]
The peddler stopped, and tapped her on the head,
With
absolute
forefinger, brown and ringed.
Mrs. Browning.
8.
(Chem.)
Pure; unmixed;
as,
absolute
alcohol
.
9.
(Gram.)
Not immediately dependent on the other parts of the sentence in government;
as, the case
absolute
. See
Ablative absolute
, under
Ablative
.
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° centigrade or -459.4° Fahrenheit.
Syn. – Positive; peremptory; certain; unconditional; unlimited; unrestricted; unqualified; arbitrary; despotic; autocratic.

Ab′so-lute

,
Noun.
(Geom.)
In a plane, the two imaginary circular points at infinity; in space of three dimensions, the imaginary circle at infinity.

Webster 1828 Edition


Absolute

AB'SOLUTE

,
Adj.
[L. absolutus. See Absolve.]
1.
Literally, in a general sense, free, independent of any thing extraneous. Hence,
2.
Complete in itself; positive; as an absolute declaration.
3.
Unconditional, as an absolute promise.
4.
Existing independent of any other cause, as God is absolute.
5.
Unlimited by extraneous power or control, as an absolute government or prince.
6.
Not relative, as absolute space.
In grammar, the case absolute, is when a word or member of a sentence is not immediately dependent on the other parts of the sentence in government.
Absolute equation, in astronomy, is the aggregate of the
optic and eccentric equations. The apparent inequality of a planet's motion in its orbit, arising from is unequal distances from the earth at different times, is called its optic equation; the eccentric inequality is caused by the uniformity of the planet's motion, in an elliptical orbit, which, for that reason, appears not to be uniform.
Absolute numbers, in algebra, are such as have no letters annexed, as 2a+36=48. the two latter numbers are absolute or pure.
Absolute space, in physics, is space considered without relation to any other object.
Absolute gravity, in philosophy, is that property in bodies by which they are said to weigh so much, without regard to circumstances of modification, and this is always as the quantity of matter they contain.

Definition 2022


Absolute

Absolute

See also: absolute

English

Noun

Absolute (plural Absolutes)

  1. (philosophy) That which is totally unconditioned, unrestricted, pure, perfect, or complete; that which can be thought of without relation to others. [First attested in the mid 19th century.][1]

References

  1. Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7), page 9

Anagrams

absolute

absolute

See also: Absolute

English

Alternative forms

Adjective

absolute (comparative more absolute or absoluter, superlative most absolute or absolutest)

  1. (obsolete) Absolved; free. [Attested from around 1350 to 1470 until the mid 17th century.][2]
  2. (obsolete) Disengaged from accidental circumstances. [Attested from around 1350 until 1470.]
  3. (archaic) Complete in itself; perfect. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton:
      So absolute she seems, And in herself complete.
  4. (grammar) Not immediately dependent on the other parts of the sentence. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
    1. (of a case form) Syntactically connected to the rest of the sentence in an atypical manner; ablative absolute; nominative absolute; genitive absolute; accusative absolute. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
    2. Standing by itself in a loose syntactical connection, and qualifying the sentence as a whole rather than any single word in it. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
      Anyhow in 'anyhow, I made it home' is an absolute.
    3. (of an adjective or possessive pronoun) Lacking a modified substantive. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
      Hungry in 'Feed the hungry.'
    4. (comparative, superlative) Expressing a relative term without a definite comparison.'[First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
      Older in 'An older person should be treated with respect.
    5. (transitive) Having no direct object. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
      Kill in 'If looks could kill...'
    6. (Ireland, Wales) An inflected verb that is not preceded by any number of articles or compounded with a preverb. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
  5. (obsolete) Absorbed in, as an occupation. [Attested only in the late 15th century.]
  6. Pure; unmixed; as, absolute alcohol. [First attested in the mid 16th century.]
  7. (figuratively) Complete; utter; outright; unmitigated; entire; total; not qualified or diminished in any way; unrestricted; without limitation. [First attested in the late 16th century.]
    When caught, he told an absolute lie.
  8. Unconditional; free from any conditions, limitations, and relations; [First attested in the late 15th century.]
    1. Having unlimited power, without limits set by a constitution, parliament, or other means; independent in ownership or authority. [First attested in the late 15th century.]
    2. Absolutist; arbitrary; despotic. [First attested in the mid 16th century.]
    3. Proceeding from or characteristic of an absolute ruler. [First attested in the mid 16th century.]
    • 1962, Hannah Arendt, On Revolution, (1990), page 155:
      [] the more absolute the ruler, the more absolute the revolution will be which replaces him.
  9. Authoritative; peremptory.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Elizabeth Barrett Browning:
      The peddler stopped, and tapped her on the head, With absolute forefinger, brown and ringed.
  10. Positive; unquestionable; peremptory. [First attested in the early 17th century.]
  11. Real; actual. [First attested in the early 17th century.]
  12. (archaic) Certain; free from doubt or uncertainty, as a person or prediction. [First attested in the early 17th century.]
    • (Can we date this quote?) William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, Act 4, Scene 2:
      I am absolute ’t was very Cloten.
  13. Free from conditional limitations; operating or existing in full under all circumstances without variation. [First attested in the early 17th century.]
  14. (law) Complete; unconditional; final; without encumbrances; not liable to change or cancellation.
  15. (philosophy) Existing, able to be thought of, or able to be viewed without relation to other things. [First attested in the late 18th century.]
    absolute motion
    absolute time or space
    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.
    • (Can we date this quote?) William Hamilton:
      To Cusa we can indeed articulately trace, word and thing, the recent philosophy of the absolute.
  16. (philosophy) Fundamental; ultimate; intrinsic; free from the variability and error natural to the human way of thinking and perception. [First attested in the late 18th century.]
  17. (physics) Independent of arbitrary units of measurement not comparative or relative.
    1. Having reference to or derived from the simplest manner from the fundamental units of mass, time, and length.
    2. Relating to the absolute temperature scale.
  18. (education) Pertaining to a grading system based on the knowledge of the individual and not on the comparative knowledge of the group of students.
  19. (art) Concerned entirely with expressing beauty and feelings, lacking meaningful reference.
  20. (dance) Utilizing the body to express ideas, independent of music and costumes.
  21. (mathematics) As measured using an absolute value.
    absolute deviation
    absolute square
    mean absolute difference
  22. (mathematics) Indicating an expression that is true for all real numbers; unconditional.

Derived terms

Synonyms

Antonyms

Related terms

Translations

Noun

absolute (plural absolutes)

  1. That which is independent of context-dependent interpretation, inviolate, fundamental. [First attested in the mid 19th century.][2]
    moral absolutes
  2. Anything that is absolute. [First attested in the mid 19th century.][2]
  3. (geometry) In a plane, the two imaginary circular points at infinity; in space of three dimensions, the imaginary circle at infinity.
  4. (philosophy, usually capitalized) A realm which exists without reference to anything else; that which can be imagined purely by itself; absolute ego.
    • 1983, Lawrence Durrell, Sebastian, Faber & Faber 2004 (Avignon Quintet), page 1039:
      Withdrawn as a Buddha he sat, watching the alien world from his perch in the absolute.
  5. (philosophy, usually capitalized) The unity of spirit and nature; God.
  6. (philosophy, usually capitalized) The whole of reality; the totality to which everything is reduced.
  7. Concentrated natural flower oil, used for perfumes.

Usage notes

  • (not dependent on anything else): Usually preceded by the word the.
  • (all, philosophy): Usually preceded by the word the

Translations

References

  • absolute in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  1. William Morris (editor), The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1971 [1969]; American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc.; ISBN 0-395-09066-0), page 5
  2. 1 2 3 4 Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7), page 9

Anagrams


Dutch

Pronunciation

Adjective

absolute

  1. Inflected form of absoluut

Esperanto

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /absoˈlute/

Adverb

absolute

  1. absolutely

German

Adjective

absolute

  1. inflected form of absolut

Latin

Etymology

From absolūtus (complete, finished).

Adverb

absolūtē (comparable absolūtius, superlative absolūtissimē)

  1. absolutely, completely, fully

Related terms

References


Swedish

Adjective

absolute

  1. absolute definite natural masculine form of absolut.