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[ab-suh-loo-tiz-uh m] /ˈæb sə luˌtɪz əm/
the principle or the exercise of complete and unrestricted power in government.
any theory holding that values, principles, etc., are absolute and not relative, dependent, or changeable.
Origin of absolutism
First recorded in 1745-55
Related forms
absolutist, noun, adjective
absolutistic, adjective
absolutistically, adverb
nonabsolutist, noun
nonabsolutistic, adjective
nonabsolutistically, adverb
proabsolutism, noun
proabsolutist, adjective, noun
1. totalitarianism. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for absolutist
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The degradation of servitude, the absolutist lies must be uprooted and swept out.

    Under Western Eyes Joseph Conrad
  • absolutist and military government now again prevailed at Prague.

    The Story of Prague Count Francis Ltzow
  • He was taken for a mere bully and absolutist of the old type.

  • It did not lead the masses to storm the citadels of the absolutist order.

    Our Revolution Leon Trotzky
  • Objectivism in its absolutist and abstract forms assumes a standard—nature, essence, law—independent of process.

    Creative Intelligence John Dewey, Addison W. Moore, Harold Chapman Brown, George H. Mead, Boyd H. Bode, Henry Waldgrave, Stuart James, Hayden Tufts, Horace M. Kallen
  • He stripped the magical prestige from the absolutist monarchy in France.

  • It has nothing in common with the absolutist States before or after '89.

British Dictionary definitions for absolutist


the principle or practice of a political system in which unrestricted power is vested in a monarch, dictator, etc; despotism
  1. any theory which holds that truth or moral or aesthetic value is absolute and universal and not relative to individual or social differences Compare relativism
  2. the doctrine that reality is unitary and unchanging and that change and diversity are mere illusion See also monism (sense 2), pluralism (sense 5b)
(Christianity) an uncompromising form of the doctrine of predestination
Derived Forms
absolutist, noun, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for absolutist

1830, from absolute + -ist. From 1837 as an adjective.



1753 in theology; 1830 in politics, in which sense it was first used by British reformer and parliamentarian Maj. Gen. Thomas Perronet Thompson (1783-1869). See absolute and -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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