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 formsab·so·lut·ist, noun, adjectiveab·so·lu·tis·tic, adjectiveab·so·lu·tis·ti·cal·ly, adverbnon·ab·so·lut·ist, nounnon·ab·so·lu·tis·tic, adjectivenon·ab·so·lu·tis·ti·cal·ly, adverbpro·ab·so·lut·ism, nounpro·ab·so·lut·ist, adjective, noun

Synonyms for absolutism

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for absolutism

Contemporary Examples of absolutism

Historical Examples of absolutism

  • Rightly envisaged, the Crimean war was the end of what remained of absolutism and legitimism in Europe.

  • Barely stated, it is a mere formula, which may be filled in with any content from absolutism to pure republicanism.

  • And yet absolutism in itself is not to be defended; it is what enlightened nations are now striving to abolish.

  • The "ethicist's fallacy" is the source of all absolutism in theory, and all intolerance in practice.

    The Philosophy of Spinoza

    Baruch de Spinoza

  • To destroy the material organization of absolutism by reconstructing and partly dismissing the army.

    Our Revolution

    Leon Trotzky

British Dictionary definitions for absolutism



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 differencesCompare relativism
  2. the doctrine that reality is unitary and unchanging and that change and diversity are mere illusionSee also monism (def. 2), pluralism (def. 5b)
Christianity an uncompromising form of the doctrine of predestination
Derived Formsabsolutist, 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

Word Origin and History for absolutism

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