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


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.

Also cat·e·gor·ic.

Origin of categorical

1590–1600; < Late Latin catēgoric(us) (< Greek katēgorikós; see category, -ic) + -al1
Related formscat·e·gor·i·cal·ly, adverbcat·e·gor·i·cal·ness, nounnon·cat·e·gor·i·cal, adjectivenon·cat·e·gor·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·cat·e·gor·i·cal·ness, nounun·cat·e·gor·i·cal, adjectiveun·cat·e·gor·i·cal·ly, adverbun·cat·e·gor·i·cal·ness, noun

Synonyms for categorical Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for categorically

Contemporary Examples of categorically

Historical Examples of categorically

  • If she asked him a question, he answered it categorically and clearly, if he were able.

  • He then asked her what the contents were, and she described them categorically.

    The Romance of His Life

    Mary Cholmondeley

  • The matter was decided, scientifically and categorically, and no appeal allowed.

    Myths of the Rhine

    X. B. Saintine

  • Answer frankly and categorically the questions I will put to you!

    The Bee Hunters

    Gustave Aimard

  • The second statement we contradict by the census as categorically as the first.

    A Defence of Virginia

    Robert L. Dabney

British Dictionary definitions for categorically




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 categorically



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