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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 absolutistic
Historical Examples
  • It means a real change of heart, a break with absolutistic hopes, when one takes up this view of the conditions of belief.

  • History shows how easily both quietists and fanatics have drawn inspiration from the absolutistic scheme.

    The Meaning of Truth William James
  • It is the absolutistic brand, spurning the dust and reared upon pure logic.

    Pragmatism William James
British Dictionary definitions for absolutistic


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 absolutistic



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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