absolutely

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

absolute +‎ -ly, from Middle English.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /æb.səˈluːt.li/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌæb.səˈlut.li/, /ˈæb.səˌlut.li/
  • (file)

Adverb[edit]

absolutely (not comparable)

  1. In an absolute or unconditional manner; utterly, positively, wholly. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.][1]
  2. Independently; viewed without relation to other things or factors. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.][1]
  3. (grammar) In a manner that does not take an object.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Absolutely is not to be confused with intensives such as very or indeed, as it is an unconditional term.

Translations[edit]

Interjection[edit]

absolutely

  1. Yes; certainly; expression indicating strong agreement. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.][1]

Usage notes[edit]

  • Some commentators, especially in England, criticise the interjectional use as having no useful meaning beyond that of yes;[2] however, this assumes that emphasis is useless, which, pragmatically speaking, it isn’t.

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 “absolutely” in Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2002, ISBN 978-0-19-860457-0, page 9.
  2. ^ Christopher Howse; Richard Preston (2007) She Literally Exploded: The Daily Telegraph Infuriating Phrasebook, London: Constable and Robinson, ISBN 978-1-84529-675-9, page 3.

See also[edit]