View synonyms for categorical


[ kat-i-gawr-i-kuhl, -gor- ]


  1. without exceptions or conditions; absolute; unqualified and unconditional:

    a categorical denial.

    Synonyms: downright, flat, positive

  2. Logic.
    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.
  3. of, relating to, or in a category.


/ ˌkætɪˈɡɒrɪkəl /


  1. unqualified; positive; unconditional

    a categorical statement

  2. relating to or included in a category
  3. logic another word for categorial
“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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Derived Forms

  • ˌcateˈgoricalness, noun
  • ˌcateˈgorically, adverb
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Other Words From

  • cat·e·gor·i·cal·ly adverb
  • cat·e·gor·i·cal·ness noun
  • non·cat·e·gor·i·cal adjective
  • non·cat·e·gor·i·cal·ness noun
  • un·cat·e·gor·i·cal adjective
  • un·cat·e·gor·i·cal·ness noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of categorical1

First recorded in 1590–1600; from Late Latin catēgoric(us) (from Greek katēgorikós; category, -ic ) + -al 1
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Example Sentences

This means that there is no real categorical difference between imagination and reality, but that they are subjectively intermixed.

Courts use Holmes’s categorical and abstract approach, Greene says, instead of grappling with the particular human conflicts between the specific parties to a case.

At this very moment, the people of Flint continue to suffer from the categorical failure of public officials at all levels of government, who trampled upon their trust and evaded accountability for far too long.

I’ve sometimes thought of myself as a categorical consultant.

Indeed, you’d also want to know whether a society bothered much with assigning unique, categorical qualities to them at all.

He actively blamed and condemned women—not just individually, but as a categorical whole—for his shortcomings.

He is a writing school of one, and Made to Break ushers his literary energies into categorical existence.

Obviously, as a Democratic candidate for governor, he has shifted away from this categorical support for pro-gun measures.

Both women issued categorical denials even before the photos hit newsstands.

Charlene calls reports she tried to flee Monaco 'categorical lies'

It was a strange case of mistaken identity which persisted for many years in spite of categorical denials.

As I dressed a number of frightful posers came into my head about you, and I want categorical answers.

The single categorical negation of the President is that he neither saw nor read the recommendation.

The highest norms were not present with a categorical affirmation of their reality and value.

For we should discover that speech is a much less categorical matter than we had been led to suppose.





categorial grammarcategorical imperative