A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 63

A'bsolute. adj. [absolutus, Lat.]

  1. Complete; applied as well to persons as things.

    Because the things that proceed from him are perfect, without any manner of defect or maim; it cannot be, but that the words of his mouth are absolute, and lack nothing which they should have, for performance of that thing whereunto they tend. Hooker, b. ii. § 6.

  2. Unconditional; as, an absolute promise.

    Although it runs in forms absolute, yet it is indeed conditional, as depending upon the qualification of the person to whom it is pronounced. South's Sermons

  3. Not relative; as, absolute space.

    I see still the distinctions of sovereign and inferior, of absolute and relative worship, will bear any man out in the worship of any creature with respect to God, as well at least as it doth in the worship of images. Stillingfl. Def. of Disc. on Rom. Idol.

    An absolute mode is that which belongs to its subject, without respect to any other beings whatsoever: but a relative mode is derived from the regard that one being has to others. Watt's Logic.

    In this sense we speak of the ablative case absolute in grammar.

  4. Not limited; as, absolute power.

    My crown is absolute, and holds of none;
    I cannot in a base subjection live,
    Nor suffer you to take, though I would give.
    Dryd. Ind. Emp.

  5. Positive, certain, without any hesitation. In this sense it rarely occurs.

                Long is it since I saw him,
    But time hath nothing blurr'd those lines of favour,
    Which then he wore; the snatches in his voice,
    And burst of speaking were as his: I'm absolute,
    'Twas very Cloten.
    Shakespeare's Cymbeline.

    What is his strength by land? —
    — Great and increasing: but by sea
    He is an absolute master.
    Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra.

Sources: Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra (57) · Shakespeare's Cymbeline (73) · Dryden, John (788) · Hooker, Richard (175) · South, Robert (158) · Stillingfleet, Edward (38) · Watts, Isaac (117)

Attributes: Adjective (426) · Latin (690)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Absolute." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 28, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/absolute/.

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