absolute unit

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  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈæb.səˌlut ˈju.nɪt/, /ˌæb.səˈljut ˈju.nɪt/
  • (file)

Etymology 1[edit]

Compound of absolute (independent, not relative) +‎ unit. Attested from the 19th century. Compare various scientific terms with prefix ab-, such as abohm.


absolute unit (plural absolute units)

  1. (physics) A unit of measurement that can be defined in terms of mass, length, and time.

Etymology 2[edit]

Compounded of British colloquial senses of absolute (utter, complete) +‎ unit (physically large person). Attested from the 2010s.


absolute unit (plural absolute units)

  1. (slang, UK, Australia, chiefly Internet, humorous) A person of exceptional body mass, size, and/or corpulence.
    • 2006 February 15, “Sticky Beak”, in Liverpool Leader, Factiva:LIVLEA0020060215e22f00005:
      Liverpool BMX president Neil Cameron said, despite the name, [Kama Kazi] is a "lovely bloke", "great with the kids" and also an "absolute unit".
  2. (by extension) Anything exceptionally large for its type.
    • 2019 April 18, Reid McCarter, “Bad news, everyone: Elon Musk has discovered the ‘absolute unit’ meme”, in The A.V. Club[1]:
      In response to an already pretty embarrassing MIT Technology Review tweet calling the world’s biggest airplane an absolute unit, Musk stopped giggling into his hands just long enough to reply, “I’m an absolute unit too.”