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[kat-i-gawr-i-kuh l, -gor-] /ˌkæt ɪˈgɔr ɪ kəl, -ˈgɒr-/
without exceptions or conditions; absolute; unqualified and unconditional:
a categorical denial.
  1. (of a proposition) analyzable into a subject and an attribute related by a copula, as in the proposition “All humans are mortal.”.
  2. (of a syllogism) having categorical propositions as premises.
of, relating to, or in a category.
Also, categoric.
Origin of categorical
1590-1600; < Late Latin catēgoric(us) (< Greek katēgorikós; see category, -ic) + -al1
Related forms
categorically, adverb
categoricalness, noun
noncategorical, adjective
noncategorically, adverb
noncategoricalness, noun
uncategorical, adjective
uncategorically, adverb
uncategoricalness, noun
1. positive, flat, downright. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for categorically
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If she asked him a question, he answered it categorically and clearly, if he were able.

  • He then asked her what the contents were, and she described them categorically.

    The Romance of His Life

    Mary Cholmondeley
  • The matter was decided, scientifically and categorically, and no appeal allowed.

    Myths of the Rhine X. B. Saintine
  • Answer frankly and categorically the questions I will put to you!

    The Bee Hunters Gustave Aimard
  • The second statement we contradict by the census as categorically as the first.

    A Defence of Virginia Robert L. Dabney
British Dictionary definitions for categorically


unqualified; positive; unconditional: a categorical statement
relating to or included in a category
(logic) another word for categorial
Derived Forms
categorically, adverb
categoricalness, noun
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 categorically



1590s, as a term in logic, "unqualified, asserting absolutely," from Late Latin categoricus, from Greek kategorikos "accusatory, affirmative, categorical," from kategoria (see category). General sense of "explicit, unconditional" is from 1610s. Categorical imperative, from the philosophy of Kant, first recorded 1827. Related: Categorically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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