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 absolutist

Contemporary Examples of absolutist

Historical Examples of absolutist

  • 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

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 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 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