/ab"seuh looht', ab'seuh looht"/, adj.
1. free from imperfection; complete; perfect: absolute liberty.
2. not mixed or adulterated; pure: absolute alcohol.
3. complete; outright: an absolute lie; an absolute denial.
4. free from restriction or limitation; not limited in any way: absolute command; absolute freedom.
5. unrestrained or unlimited by a constitution, counterbalancing group, etc., in the exercise of governmental power, esp. when arbitrary or despotic: an absolute monarch.
6. viewed independently; not comparative or relative; ultimate; intrinsic: absolute knowledge.
7. positive; certain: absolute in opinion; absolute evidence.
8. Gram.
a. relatively independent syntactically. The construction It being Sunday in It being Sunday, the family went to church is an absolute construction.
b. (of a usually transitive verb) used without an object, as the verb give in The charity asked him to give.
c. (of an adjective) having its noun understood, not expressed, as poor in The poor are always with us.
d. 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). Cf. sandhi.
9. Physics.
a. independent of arbitrary standards or of particular properties of substances or systems: absolute humidity.
b. pertaining to a system of units, as the centimeter-gram-second system, based on some primary units, esp. units of length, mass, and time.
c. pertaining to a measurement based on an absolute zero or unit: absolute temperature.
10. Educ. 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. Cf. curve (def. 10).
11. 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.
12. Math. (of an inequality) indicating that the expression is true for all values of the variable, as x2 + 1 > 0 for all real numbers x; unconditional. Cf. conditional (def. 6).
13. Computers. machine-specific and requiring no translation (opposed to symbolic): absolute coding; absolute address.
14. something that is not dependent upon external conditions for existence or for its specific nature, size, etc. (opposed to relative).
15. the absolute,
a. something that is free from any restriction or condition.
b. something that is independent of some or all relations.
c. something that is perfect or complete.
d. (in Hegelianism) the world process operating in accordance with the absolute idea.
[1350-1400; ME < L absolutus free, unrestricted, unconditioned (ptp. of absolvere to ABSOLVE), equiv. to ab- AB- + solu- loosen + -tus ptp. suffix]
Syn. 2. unadulterated, sheer, unqualified, undiluted, uncontaminated. 4. total, unconditional. ABSOLUTE, UNQUALIFIED, UTTER all mean unmodified. ABSOLUTE implies an unquestionable finality: an absolute coward. UNQUALIFIED means without reservations or conditions: an unqualified success. UTTER expresses totality or entirety: an utter failure. 5. autocratic, dictatorial, totalitarian. 6. categorical. 7. unequivocal, definite, sure.
Ant. 1. imperfect, flawed. 2. mixed, diluted, contaminated. 4. qualified. 6. relative.

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Universalium. 2010.


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