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[ab-surd, -zurd] /æbˈsɜrd, -ˈzɜrd/
utterly or obviously senseless, illogical, or untrue; contrary to all reason or common sense; laughably foolish or false:
an absurd explanation.
the quality or condition of existing in a meaningless and irrational world.
Origin of absurd
1550-60; < Latin absurdus out of tune, uncouth, ridiculous. See ab-, surd
Related forms
absurdly, adverb
absurdness, noun
superabsurd, adjective
superabsurdly, adverb
superabsurdness, noun
1. irrational, silly, ludicrous, nonsensical. Absurd, ridiculous, preposterous all mean inconsistent with reason or common sense. Absurd means utterly opposed to truth or reason: an absurd claim. Ridiculous implies that something is fit only to be laughed at, perhaps contemptuously: a ridiculous suggestion. Preposterous implies an extreme of foolishness: a preposterous proposal.
1. logical, sensible. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for absurd
  • The play is then rejected as senseless or as directly absurd, and by virtue of reason it becomes impossible.
  • Its mating dance is so absurd that I could hardly keep from laughing.
  • And it does seem, looking back, naïve and absurd.
  • We were ten hours (and six river miles [ten kilometers]) into a mission that was both serious and absurd.
  • I'm sorry, but that's just absurd-and I mean that in the most of serious manner.
  • The narrative itself cultivates an appreciation for the absurd.
  • It's riddled with bugs, problems, limitations and absurd design flaws.
  • It's not easy to be consistently absurd for an entire book.
  • Hackles are raised and tempers flare with absurd predictability.
  • It sounds absurd now, but at the time I was overwhelmed by unwarranted optimism and foolish naiveté.
British Dictionary definitions for absurd


at variance with reason; manifestly false
ludicrous; ridiculous
(sometimes capital) (philosophy) the absurd, the conception of the world, esp in Existentialist thought, as neither designed nor predictable but irrational and meaningless
Derived Forms
absurdity, absurdness, noun
absurdly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: via French from Latin absurdus dissonant, senseless, from ab-1 (intensive) + surdus dull-sounding, indistinct
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for absurd

1550s, from Middle French absurde (16c.), from Latin absurdus "out of tune; foolish" (see absurdity). The main modern sense (also present in Latin) is a figurative one, "out of harmony with reason or propriety." Related: Absurdly; absurdness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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