[ kat-i-gawr-i-kuhl, -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.

Nearby words

  1. catechumen,
  2. categorematic,
  3. categorial,
  4. categorial grammar,
  5. categoric contact,
  6. categorical imperative,
  7. categorist,
  8. categorization,
  9. categorize,
  10. category

Also cat·e·gor·ic.

Origin of categorical

1590–1600; < Late Latin catēgoric(us) (< Greek katēgorikós; see category, -ic) + -al1

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

Examples from the Web for categorical

British Dictionary definitions for categorical



/ (ˌkætɪˈɡɒrɪkəl) /


unqualified; positive; unconditionala categorical statement
relating to or included in a category
logic another word for categorial
Derived Formscategorically, adverbcategoricalness, 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

Word Origin and History for categorical



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