from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A political theory holding that all power should be vested in one ruler or other authority.
  • n. A form of government in which all power is vested in a single ruler or other authority.
  • n. An absolute doctrine, principle, or standard.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Positiveness; the state of being absolute.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The state of being absolute; the system or doctrine of the absolute; the principles or practice of absolute or arbitrary government; despotism.
  • n. Doctrine of absolute decrees.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state of being absolute.
  • n. The principle of absolute individual power in government; belief in the unrestricted right of determination or disposal in a sovereign.
  • n. The theological doctrine of predestination or absolute decrees.
  • n. The metaphysical doctrines of the absolutists.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the doctrine of an absolute being
  • n. a form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc.)
  • n. dominance through threat of punishment and violence
  • n. the principle of complete and unrestricted power in government


First attested in 1753 for the theology sense, and 1830 for the political sense. From absolute +‎ -ism after French absolutisme. (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.