Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

absolute - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective     absolute pronunciation in British English
/ˈæbsəluːt/    absolute pronunciation in British English
  1. 1
    [only before noun] very great, or complete: used for emphasizing an opinion, feeling, or statement

    The way they’ve been treated is an absolute disgrace.

    I have absolute confidence in her.

    You’re talking absolute nonsense.

    1. a.
      used for emphasizing that something is the most or least possible in a particular situation

      £9,000 is the absolute maximum we can spend.

  2. 2
    [usually before noun] measured in itself, not in relation to anything else

    Health spending has increased in absolute terms, but not as a proportion of national income.

  3. 3
    [usually before noun] true or right in all situations

    Do you believe in absolute moral values?

  4. 4
    [only before noun] used for talking about a political system in which complete power is held by one person, and is not shared with a parliament or other political group

    an absolute monarchy



a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play