Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



First attested around 1472. From Middle English absurdite,[1] then from either Middle French absurdité, or from Late Latin absurditas (dissonance, incongruity), from Latin absurdus +‎ -itas (quality, state, degree).[2][3] Equivalent to absurd +‎ -ity.



absurdity (countable and uncountable, plural absurdities)

  1. (obsolete, rare) Dissonance. [Attested from around 1350 to 1470 until the late 17th century.][3]
  2. (countable) That which is absurd; an absurd action; a logical contradiction. [First attested in the late 15th century.][3]
    • (Can we date this quote?), Johnson, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      His travels were full of absurdities.
  3. (uncountable) The quality of being absurd or inconsistent with obvious truth, reason, or sound judgment. [First attested in the early 16th century.][3]
    • (Can we date this quote?), John Locke, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      The absurdity of the actual idea of an infinite number.
    • 1992, Rudolf M. Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, page viii
      Neither [Jones] [] nor I (in 1966) could conceive of reducing our "science" to the ultimate absurdity of reading Finnish newspapers almost a century and a half old in order to establish "priority."


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


  1. ^ Laurence Urdang (editor), The Random House College Dictionary (Random House, 1984 [1975], →ISBN), page 7
  2. ^ Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 [1909], →ISBN), page 8
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], →ISBN), page 10