- the principle or the exercise of complete and unrestricted power in government.
- any theory holding that values, principles, etc., are absolute and not relative, dependent, or changeable.
- the principle or practice of a political system in which unrestricted power is vested in a monarch, dictator, etc; despotism
- any theory which holds that truth or moral or aesthetic value is absolute and universal and not relative to individual or social differencesCompare relativism
- the doctrine that reality is unitary and unchanging and that change and diversity are mere illusionSee also monism (def. 2), pluralism (def. 5b)
- Christianity an uncompromising form of the doctrine of predestination
n.1753 in theology; 1830 in politics, in which sense it was first used by British reformer and parliamentarian Maj. Gen. Thomas Perronet Thompson (1783-1869). See absolute and -ism.