from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The state of being absolute; the system or doctrine of the absolute; the principles or practice of absolute or arbitrary government; despotism.
  • noun (Theol.) Doctrine of absolute decrees.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Positiveness; the state of being absolute.

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

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


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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


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  • It could be a slavish faux Putinism

    Or native enjoyment of brutalism,

    Or weak leader’s dread

    Of being gainsaid

    That fosters his crude absolutism.

    July 5, 2018