absolute state



  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈæb.səˌlut steɪt/, /ˌæb.səˈljut steɪt/

Etymology 1Edit

Calque of Latin status absolūtus.


absolute state (plural absolute states)

  1. (grammar) In Semitic languages, the condition of a noun not being grammatically linked to another noun – where it would use the construct state[1]
    1. (rare) to sum the indeterminate state and the determinate state in one term
    2. to denote the only state not construct state as in the binary state system of Ugaritic
    3. denotes the indeterminate state in Aramaic, even though it also has a determinate state called emphatic state
    4. denotes an infrequent endingless state in Akkadian used for predicative sentences, adverbially used nouns and vocative expressions (in which cases Arabic would use the accusative case), contrasting with the governed state and the construct state
  2. (grammar) In Egyptian, including Coptic, a form of a verb necessitated by its regimen if this does not require the nominal state or pronominal state
  3. (grammar) In Berber languages, an unmarked form and hence citation form of a noun similar to the absolutive of ergative languages, varying in usage cases per specific language but generally described as used for topicalized subjects of sentences – default word order being VSO –, nominal predicates and direct objects.
    Synonym: unbound state
    Antonyms: annexed state, bound state

Etymology 2Edit

From absolute +‎ state.


absolute state (plural absolute states)

  1. A state with absolute sovereignty and authority, in contrast with e.g. a feudal state.
    • 1898, Henry Gaullieur, The Paternal State in France and Germany, Harper & brothers, page 45:
      In France, where originally the king had only a very small estate, no power, and no army except his personal followers, the absolute state did not exist before the sixteenth century; for the French parliaments were still powerful in the fourteenth century, as we see by their records.
    • 1922, Hugo Krabbe, The Modern Idea of the State, M. Nijhoff, page xix:
      The theory of sovereignty was an invaluable weapon in the hands of the monarch in his contest with the other claimants to authority; it gave a theoretical foundation for the emerging national absolute state, and it clearly forecast the line that political evolution was to follow.
    • 1968, Gerhard Ritter, Frederick the Great: a Historical Profile, University of California Press, page 2:
      The truly absolute state, organized without regard for privilege and tradition, disposing over the property and life of all its subjects according to its own interests, was established not under the monarchies, but by the modern democracies.
    • 1991, Jacques Kornberg, “Dilthey's Introduction to the Human Sciences: Liberal Social Thought in the Second Reich”, in In the Presence of the Past: Essays in Honor of Frank Manuel, Springer Science+Business Media, page 258:
      Roman Law recognized the absolute state and the individual's private rights; it did not acknowledge the legal inviolability of group life.
    • 1999, Henk van Dijk, “State Borders in Geography and History”, in Nationalising and Denationalising European Border Regions, Springer Science+Business Media, page 21:
      Tribal states, which existed for instance in early medieval European society, differed from the absolute state which developed since the late Middle Ages and had its zenith in the absolute monarchies of the seventeenth century.
    • 2000, E. Herbert Norman, Japan's Emergence as a Modern State: Political and Economic Problems of the Meiji Period, University of British Columbia Press, page 3:
      Although several subsidiary subjects have been touched upon, the central problem throughout has been to explain the rapid creation of a centralized, absolute state after the Meiji Restoration (1868), and the growth of an industrial economy under conditions of state patronage and control.
  2. A particularly dishevelled, sorry or contemptible condition.
    • 2015 February 11, Trev Downey, “Reasons to Believe”, in The Liverpool Offside[1]:
      The absolute state of you, Downey, you utter twonk. Like you have anything to do with the outcome of the bloody match! You need to confine this superstition malarkey to a flaming skip.
    • 2016 December 30, Meher Mirza, “The Essential Guide To Combating A Hangover In Mumbai”, in The City Story[2]:
      Just like mum used to make – without the lecture at the absolute state of you!
    • 2017 August 3, Oliver Astley, “The beautiful baby snow leopards which are now at Twycross Zoo”, in DerbyshireLive, the online edition of the Derby Telegraph[3]:
      The absolute state of you! How did you get that dirty that quickly?


  1. ^ Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 [1909], →ISBN), page 6