[ab-surd, -zurd]


utterly or obviously senseless, illogical, or untrue; contrary to all reason or common sense; laughably foolish or false: an absurd explanation.


the quality or condition of existing in a meaningless and irrational world.

Origin of absurd

First recorded in 1550–60, absurd is from the Latin word absurdus out of tune, uncouth, ridiculous. See ab-, surd
Related formsab·surd·ly, adverbab·surd·ness, nounsu·per·ab·surd, adjectivesu·per·ab·surd·ly, adverbsu·per·ab·surd·ness, noun

Synonyms for absurd

Synonym study

1. Absurd, ridiculous, preposterous all mean inconsistent with reason or common sense. Absurd means utterly opposed to truth or reason: an absurd claim. Ridiculous implies that something is fit only to be laughed at, perhaps contemptuously: a ridiculous suggestion. Preposterous implies an extreme of foolishness: a preposterous proposal.

Antonyms for absurd

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

Examples from the Web for absurdly

Contemporary Examples of absurdly

Historical Examples of absurdly

  • Absurdly few to fight the Mercutians, but Hilary counseled patience.

    Slaves of Mercury

    Nat Schachner

  • They had posed themselves so absurdly close to the world of things as they are.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • He was absurdly grieved that his gun was still with his missing baggage.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • It is that you and Meg are both so absurdly grave about it, when there's nothing to be grave about at all.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • If they are Mrs. Berry's, as you absurdly pretend to think they are, again you have no claim.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for absurdly



at variance with reason; manifestly false
ludicrous; ridiculous


the absurd (sometimes capital) philosophy the conception of the world, esp in Existentialist thought, as neither designed nor predictable but irrational and meaningless
Derived Formsabsurdity or absurdness, nounabsurdly, adverb

Word Origin for absurd

C16: via French from Latin absurdus dissonant, senseless, from ab- 1 (intensive) + surdus dull-sounding, indistinct
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 absurdly



1550s, from Middle French absurde (16c.), from Latin absurdus "out of tune; foolish" (see absurdity). The main modern sense (also present in Latin) is a figurative one, "out of harmony with reason or propriety." Related: Absurdly; absurdness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper