2. Not limited by restrictions or exceptions; unconditional, total trust: Earl told Diane that she had his absolute confidence.
3. Unqualified in extent or degree; total: Marie could hear a pin drop in the absolute silence of the room.
4. Unconstrained by constitutional, a counterbalancing group, or other provisions, etc. in the exercise of governmental power, especially when arbitrary or despotic: James was an absolute ruler in his position as the absolute monarch.
5. Regarding something which is not to be doubted or questioned; positive, certain: The police have absolute proof of Philip's guilt.
6. Relating to units of measurement derived from fundamental units of length, mass, and time: The laboratory was supplied with the necessary equipment to determine the absolute temperature of the liquids.
7. Pertaining to the scale of a grading system based on an individual's performance considered as representing his or her knowledge of a given subject regardless of the performance of others in a group: Jessica's absolute performance during the year qualifies her for the special graduation honors.
8. Etymology: from Latin absolutus and absolvere, "to set free, to make separate".
Logically, absolute terms cannot be compared, as with "more" and "most", or used with an "intensive modifier", such as "very" or "so" because something either is complete or it is not. It cannot be "more complete" than something else, consequently sentences, such as "Mike wanted to make his record collection more complete", and "Joyce can improve the sketch by making the lines more perpendicular", are often criticized as being illogical.
Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
for a list of additional Mickey Bach illustrations.
Craig was afflicted with absolute glaucoma during the final years of his life.
2. A country has an absolute advantage if its output per unit of input of all goods and services produced is greater than that of another country.
If one person, firm, or country can produce more of something with the same amount of effort and resources, they have an absolute advantage over other producers.
The question of what to specialize in and how to maximize the benefits from international trade is determined according to comparative advantage that identifies which activities a country, firm, or individual is most efficient at doing. Both absolute and comparative advantages may change significantly over time.
2. The ratio of the mass of water vapor present in the air to the volume occupied by the gas.
The density of water vapor in the air is usually expressed as grams of water vapor per cubic meter of air.
2. A measure of the true or intrinsic brightness of a star as if all stars were the same distance (32.6 light-years) from the observer.
To determine its absolute weight, a body must be weighed in a vacuum or an allowance must be made for buoyancy (tendency or capacity to remain afloat in a liquid or to rise in air or gas).
Although absolute zero has not been reached, yet, the techniques of cryogenics, the technology for creating temperatures below -200 degrees Celsius, have come closer.