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definition of the word absolute

by the Wiktionnary

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Latin absolutus (unconditional), past participle of absolvere (to loosen, to free, to complete). Compare French absolu. See absolve.

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


more absolute or (rarely) absoluter

most absolute or (rarely) absolutest

  1. Loosed from any limitation or condition; uncontrolled; unrestricted; unconditional; as, absolute authority, monarchy, sovereignty, an absolute promise or command.
    • 1962, Hannah Arendt, On Revolution, (1990), page 155
      [T]he more absolute the ruler, the more absolute the revolution will be which replaces him.
  2. Complete in itself; perfect; consummate; faultless.
    absolute perfection
    absolute beauty
    • So absolute she seems, And in herself complete. —John 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.
    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.
  5. Capable of being thought or conceived by itself alone; unconditioned; non-relative.
    Note: It is in dispute among philosophers 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. —William Hamilton
  6. (rare) Positive; clear; certain; not doubtful.
    • I am absolute ’t was very Cloten. —Shakespeare, Cymbeline, IV,ii
  7. (rare) Authoritative; peremptory.
  8. (chemistry) Pure; unmixed; as, absolute alcohol.
  9. (grammar) Not immediately dependent on the other parts of the sentence in government; as, the case absolute. (See ablative absolute.)

Definition from Wiktionary
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