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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 absolutists
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Interpenetration and co-operation may supply the place of the metaphysical unity at which the absolutists aim.

    Nature Mysticism J. Edward Mercer
  • Both thinkers are absolutists in principle, though Hobbes gives to a monarch the power which Bentham gives to a democracy.

  • It is probably this last notion that, consciously or unconsciously, weighs most in the psychology of the absolutists creed.

    The Behavior of Crowds Everett Dean Martin
  • Their departure was almost immediately followed by open riots in favour of the absolutists.

    A History of England, Period III. Rev. J. Franck Bright
  • The Ritualists were absolutists in their political views and accepted the King's intervention in church matters.

  • The absolutists on the other hand hoped that the king might by procrastination avoid the separation of the crowns.

  • The focus of the constitutional movement, she was savagely assailed by the absolutists and their French allies.

    Southern Spain A.F. Calvert
British Dictionary definitions for absolutists


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 absolutists



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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