AskDefine | Define absurd

Dictionary Definition

absurd adj
1 inconsistent with reason or logic or common sense; "the absurd predicament of seeming to argue that virtue is highly desirable but intensely unpleasant"- Walter Lippman [syn: unreasonable]
2 completely devoid of wisdom or good sense; "the absurd excuse that the dog ate his homework"; "that's a cockeyed idea"; "ask a nonsensical question and get a nonsensical answer"; "a contribution so small as to be laughable"; "it is ludicrous to call a cottage a mansion"; "a preposterous attempt to turn back the pages of history"; "her conceited assumption of universal interest in her rather dull children was ridiculous" [syn: cockeyed, derisory, idiotic, laughable, ludicrous, nonsensical, preposterous, ridiculous]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

absurdus, from ab + surdus, (probably) a derivative from the root svar, to sound; not connected with surd: compare French absurde.

Pronunciation

Adjective

  1. Contrary to reason or propriety; obviously and flatly opposed to manifest truth; inconsistent with the plain dictates of common sense; logically contradictory; nonsensical; ridiculous; as, an absurd person, an absurd opinion; an absurd dream.
    Quotations
    • This proffer is absurd and reasonless. - Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part I, V-iv
    • This phrase absurd to call a villain great. - Alexander Pope

Usage notes

Among the synonyms:
  • Irrational is the weakest, denoting that which is plainly inconsistent with the dictates of sound reason; as, an irrational course of life.
  • Foolish rises higher, and implies either a perversion of that faculty, or an absolute weakness or fatuity of mind; as, foolish enterprises.
  • Absurd rises still higher, denoting that which is plainly opposed to received notions of propriety and truth; as, an absurd man, project, opinion, story, argument, etc.
  • Preposterous rises still higher, and supposes an absolute inversion in the order of things; or, in plain terms, a "putting of the cart before the horse;" as, a preposterous suggestion, preposterous conduct, a preposterous regulation or law.

Derived terms

Translations

contrary to reason or propriety

Noun

  1. An absurdity. — Pope
  2. (with the) That which is absurd.

Derived terms

Translations

obsolete: an absurdity
  • Dutch: absurd
  • Japanese: 馬鹿
that which is absurd
  • Japanese: 愚鈍
translations to be checked

References

  • Webster 1913

German

Adjective

  1. absurd

Swedish

Adjective

  1. absurd

Extensive Definition

Absurd can refer to:
absurd in German: Absurd
absurd in Dutch: Absurd
absurd in Norwegian Nynorsk: Absurd
absurd in Polish: Absurd
absurd in Portuguese: Absurdo
absurd in Russian: Абсурд (значения)
absurd in Finnish: Absurdi

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Pickwickian, a bit thick, a bit thin, abnormal, amusing, anomalous, asinine, balmy, barred, beyond belief, bizarre, childish, closed-out, cockamamie, comic, contrary to reason, crazy, curious, daft, disproportionate, doubtable, doubtful, droll, dubious, dubitable, eccentric, empty, excluded, extravagant, fantastic, farcical, fatuitous, fatuous, foolish, freaked out, freaky, funny, futile, grotesque, hard of belief, hard to believe, harebrained, high-flown, hilarious, hollow, hopeless, humorous, idiotic, idle, illogical, imbecile, imbecilic, implausible, impossible, inane, incoherent, incommensurable, incommensurate, incompatible, inconceivable, incongruous, inconsequent, inconsistent, inconsonant, incredible, insane, irrational, irreconcilable, kooky, laughable, logically impossible, loony, ludicrous, mad, meaningless, monstrous, moronic, nonsensical, not deserving belief, not possible, nuts, nutty, odd, oddball, off, off the wall, open to doubt, open to suspicion, out, out of proportion, outlandish, outrageous, outre, oxymoronic, paradoxical, passing belief, passing strange, peculiar, poppycockish, potty, preposterous, priceless, problematic, prohibited, quaint, queer, questionable, quizzical, rich, ridiculous, risible, rubbishy, ruled-out, screaming, self-contradictory, senseless, silly, simple, singular, skimble-skamble, staggering belief, strange, stupid, suspect, suspicious, tall, thick, thin, trashy, twaddling, twaddly, unbelievable, unconvincing, unearthly, ungodly, unimaginable, unreasonable, unsound, unthinkable, unworthy of belief, vain, wacky, weird, whimsical, wild, witty, wondrous strange
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