free from imperfection; complete; perfect:
absolute liberty.
not mixed or adulterated; pure:
absolute alcohol.
complete; outright:
an absolute lie; an absolute denial.
free from restriction or limitation; not limited in any way:
absolute command; absolute freedom.
unrestrained or unlimited by a constitution, counterbalancing group, etc., in the exercise of governmental power, especially when arbitrary or despotic:
an absolute monarch.
viewed independently; not comparative or relative; ultimate; intrinsic:
absolute knowledge.
positive; certain:
absolute in opinion; absolute evidence.

relatively independent syntactically. The construction It being Sunday in It being Sunday, the family went to church is an absolute construction.
(of a usually transitive verb) used without an object, as the verb give in The charity asked him to give.
(of an adjective) having its noun understood, not expressed, as poor in The poor are always with us.
characterizing the phonological form of a word or phrase occurring by itself, not influenced by surrounding forms, as not in is not (as opposed to isn’t), or will in they will (as opposed to they’ll).
Compare .


independent of arbitrary standards or of particular properties of substances or systems:
absolute humidity.
pertaining to a system of units, as the centimeter-gram-second system, based on some primary units, especially units of length, mass, and time.
pertaining to a measurement based on an or unit:
absolute temperature.

Education. noting or pertaining to the scale of a grading system based on an individual’s performance considered as representing his or her knowledge of a given subject regardless of the performance of others in a group:
The math department marks on an absolute scale.
Compare (def 10).
Climatology. noting or pertaining to the highest or lowest value of a meteorological quantity recorded during a given, usually long, period of time:
absolute maximum temperature.
Mathematics. (of an inequality) indicating that the expression is true for all values of the variable, as x 2 + 1 > 0 for all real numbers x; unconditional.
Compare (def 4).
Computers. machine-specific and requiring no translation (opposed to ):
absolute coding; absolute address.
something that is not dependent upon external conditions for existence or for its specific nature, size, etc. (opposed to ).
the absolute.

something that is free from any restriction or condition.
something that is independent of some or all relations.
something that is perfect or complete.
(in Hegelianism) the world process operating in accordance with the absolute idea.

Contemporary Examples

She embodies the absolute pure spirit of rock and roll, and I mean that in every sense.
Richard Phillips Brings Rock ‘n’ Roll to Dallas Ann Binlot April 2, 2014

Anyone who can kill innocent people at prayer is an absolute disgrace to faith.
Peter Beinart’s Bias Against Me, Cory Booker, and Israel Rabbi Shmuley Boteach June 13, 2013

Watching them in front of and behind the camera was an absolute miracle—they were Sutter and Aimee.
Exclusive: A Photo Essay on the Making of ‘The Spectacular Now’ Michael H. Weber, Scott Neustadter August 7, 2013

They employ every trick to attain real power, though it is not absolute.
Purim Perils: His View Is His Own Rabbi Daniel Landes February 17, 2013

For them, most from poor country families, the lavish Taylor with his absolute power was no ordinary man.
Liberian Nostalgia for War Criminal Charles Taylor Finlay Young April 27, 2012

Historical Examples

There was no absolute discourtesy; they simply did not want to be introduced.
Scientific American Supplement, No. 1157, March 5, 1898 Various

absolute directness was a part of her nature; she could die, but not manouvre.
Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson

He incurred some debts, and was soon reduced to absolute poverty.
Original Short Stories, Volume 7 (of 13) Guy de Maupassant

Again, Garson shook his head in absolute refusal of her plea.
Within the Law Marvin Dana

But freedom was not absolute; it was to be dependent on the moral law.
The Positive Outcome of Philosophy Joseph Dietzgen

complete; perfect
free from limitations, restrictions, or exceptions; unqualified: an absolute choice
having unlimited authority; despotic: an absolute ruler
undoubted; certain: the absolute truth
not dependent on, conditioned by, or relative to anything else; independent: an absolute term in logic, the absolute value of a quantity in physics
pure; unmixed: absolute alcohol
(of a grammatical construction) syntactically independent of the main clause, as for example the construction Joking apart in the sentence Joking apart, we’d better leave now
(grammar) (of a transitive verb) used without a direct object, as the verb intimidate in the sentence His intentions are good, but his rough manner tends to intimidate
(grammar) (of an adjective) used as a noun, as for instance young and aged in the sentence The young care little for the aged

(postpositive) (of a pressure measurement) not relative to atmospheric pressure: the pressure was 5 bar absolute Compare gauge (sense 18)
denoting absolute or thermodynamic temperature


(of a constant) never changing in value
Also numerical. (of an inequality) unconditional
(of a term) not containing a variable

(law) (of a court order or decree) coming into effect immediately and not liable to be modified; final See decree absolute
(law) (of a title to property, etc) not subject to any encumbrance or condition
something that is absolute
noun (sometimes not capital)

the ultimate basis of reality
that which is totally unconditioned, unrestricted, pure, perfect, or complete

(in the philosophy of Hegel) that towards which all things evolve dialectically

late 14c., “unrestricted; complete, perfect;” also “not relative to something else” (mid-15c.), from Middle French absolut (14c., Old French asolu, Modern French absolu), from Latin absolutus, past participle of absolvere “to set free, make separate” (see absolve).

Most of the current senses also were in the Latin word. Sense evolution was “detached, disengaged,” thus “perfect, pure.” Meaning “despotic” (1610s) is from notion of “absolute in position.” Absolute monarchy is recorded from 1735 (absolute king is recorded from 1610s); scientific absolute magnitude (1902), absolute value (1907) are from early 20c. In metaphysics, the absolute “that which is absolute” is from 1809.

Read Also:

  • Absolute address

    noun the actual location of data in the storage medium; a fixed address in memory; also called real address , machine address ; cf. relative address Examples Typing in the full URL is using the absolute address of a Web site. Usage Note computing

  • Absolute alcohol

    ethyl alcohol containing less than one percent by weight of water. Historical Examples Evaporate the filtrate to a syrup, and extract with successive portions of absolute alcohol. Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology W. G. Aitchison Robertson It only requires a fixation of the specimen for five minutes in absolute alcohol. Histology of the Blood […]

  • Absolute advantage

    noun a business situation in which a provider of goods or services is more profitable or efficient than all of its competitors, by having a smaller total input per unit of output Usage Note business Historical Examples The comrade who does not play billiards will, sooner or later, get an absolute advantage over you. The […]

  • Absolute altitude

    the vertical distance between a flying aircraft, rocket, etc., and the point on the earth’s surface directly below it, as measured by an electronic altimeter (absolute altimeter) Historical Examples That absolute altitude recording was a joy to read; it meant a definite relationship with the world. Brood of the Dark Moon Charles Willard Diffin

  • Absolute ceiling

    (def 3b). noun the maximum height above sea level, usually measured in feet or metres, at which an aircraft can maintain horizontal flight Compare service ceiling

Disclaimer: Absolute definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.