Dictionary: AB'SIS – AB-STAIN'

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AB'SIS, n.

In astronomy. [See Apsis.]

AB'SO-LUTE, a. [L. absolutus. See Absolve.]

  1. Literally, in a general sense, free, independent of any thing extraneous. Hence,
  2. Complete in itself; positive; as, an absolute declaration.
  3. Unconditional, as, an absolute promise.
  4. Existing independent of any other cause, as, God is absolute.
  5. Unlimited by extraneous power or control, as, an absolute government or prince.
  6. Not relative, as, absolute space. – Stillingfleet. In grammar, the case absolute, is when a word or member of a sentence is not immediately dependent on the other parts of the sentence in government. A clause independent. Absolute equation, in astronomy, is the aggregate of the optic and eccentric equations. The apparent inequality of a planet's motion in its orbit, arising from its unequal distances from the earth at different times, is called its optic equation: the eccentric inequality is caused by the uniformity of the planet's motion, in an elliptical orbit, which, for that reason, appears not to be uniform. Absolute numbers, in algebra, are such as have no letters annexed as 2a + 36 = 48. The two latter numbers are absolute or pure. – Encyc. Absolute space, in physics, is space considered without relation to any other object. – Bailey. Absolute gravity, in philosophy, is that property in bodies by which they are said to weigh so much, without regard to circumstances of modification, and this is always as the quantity of matter they contain. – Bailey.


  1. Completely; wholly; as, a thing is absolutely unintelligible.
  2. Without dependence or relation; in a state unconnected. Absolutely we can not discommend, we can not absolutely approve, either willingness to live, or forwardness to die. – Hooker.
  3. Without restriction or limitation; as, God reigns absolutely.
  4. Without condition, as, God does not forgive absolutely, but upon condition of faith and repentance.
  5. Positively, peremptorily; as, command me absolutely not to go.


  1. Independence; completeness in itself.
  2. Despotic authority, or that which is subject to no extraneous restriction, or control.


In the civil law, an acquittal or sentence of a judge declaring an accused person innocent. In the canon law, a remission of sins pronounced by a priest in favor of a penitent. Among Protestants, a sentence by which an excommunicated person is released from his liability to punishment. – Ayliffe. South.


  1. State of being absolute; or principles of absolute government.
  2. Doctrine of predestination. – Ash.


Absolving; that absolves.

AB-SOLV'A-TO-RY, a. [from absolve.]

Containing absolution, pardon, or release; having power to absolve. – Congrave.

AB-SOLVE', v.t. [abzolv'; L. absolvo, from ab and solvo, to loose or release; Ch. שלה, shalah, to absolve, to finish; Heb. של, shal, to loose or loosen. See Solve.]

To set free or release from some obligation, debt or responsibility; or from that which subjects a person to a burden or penalty; as, to absolve a person from a promise; to absolve an offender, which amounts to an acquittal and remission of his punishment. Hence, in the civil law, the word was used for acquit; and in the canon law, for forgive, or a sentence of remission. In ordinary language, its sense is to set free or release from an engagement. Formerly, good writers used the word in the sense of finish, accomplish; as, to absolve work, in Milton; but in this sense, it seems to be obsolete.


Released; acquitted; remitted; declared innocent.


One who absolves, also one that pronounces sin to be remitted.


Setting free from a debt, or charge; acquitting; remitting.

AB'SO-NANT, a. [See Absonous.]

Wide from the purpose; contrary to reason.

AB'SO-NOUS, a. [L. absonus; ab and sonus, sound.]

Unmusical, or untunable. – Fotherby.

AB-SORB', v.t. [L. absorbeo, ab and sorbeo, to drink in; Ar. شَرَبَ sharaba; Eth. ሰረበ or ሠረበ id.; Rab. שרף, sharap, to draw or drink in; whence sirup, sherbet, shrub.]

  1. To drink in; to suck up; to imbibe; as a spurge, or as the lacteals of the body.
  2. To drink in, swallow up, or overwhelm with water, as a body in a whirlpool.
  3. To waste wholly or sink in expenses; to exhaust; as, to absorb an estate in luxury.
  4. To engross or engage wholly; as, absorbed in study or the pursuit of wealth.


A state or quality of being absorbable.


That may be imbibed or swallowed. – Kerr's Lavoisier.


Imbibed; swallowed; wasted; engaged; lost in study; wholly engrossed.


Imbibing; swallowing.


In anatomy, a vessel which imbibes, as the lacteals, lymphatics, and inhaling arteries. In medicine, a testaceous powder, or other substance, which imbibes the humors of the body, as chalk or magnesia. – Encyc.

AB-SORB'ING, ppr. [or a.]

Imbibing; engrossing wasting.


  1. The act or process of imbibing or swallowing; either by water, which overwhelms, or by substances, which drink in and retain liquids; as the absorption of a body in a whirlpool, or of water by the earth, or of the humors of the body by dry powders. It is used also to express the swallowing up of substances by the earth in chasms made by earthquakes, and the sinking of large tracts in violent commotions of the earth.
  2. In chimistry, the conversion of a gaseous fluid into a liquid or solid, by union with another substance. – Ure.


Having power to imbibe. – Darwin.

ABSQUE-HOC, [Absque hoc. L.]

Without this or that; in law, words used in mediating what has been alledged, and is repeated.

AB-STAIN', v.i. [L. abstineo, to keep from; abs and teneo, to hold. See Tenant.]

In a general sense, to forbear, or refrain from, voluntarily; but used chiefly to denote a restraint upon the passions or appetites; to refrain from indulgence; as, to abstain from the use of ardent spirits; to abstain from luxuries. Abstain from meats offered to idols. Acts xv.