absurd

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj absurd inconsistent with reason or logic or common sense "the absurd predicament of seeming to argue that virtue is highly desirable but intensely unpleasant"- Walter Lippman"
    • adj absurd incongruous; inviting ridicule "the absurd excuse that the dog ate his homework","that's a cockeyed idea","ask a nonsensical question and get a nonsensical answer","a contribution so small as to be laughable","it is ludicrous to call a cottage a mansion","a preposterous attempt to turn back the pages of history","her conceited assumption of universal interest in her rather dull children was ridiculous"
    • n absurd a situation in which life seems irrational and meaningless "The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth"--Albert Camus"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Lee De Forest, the inventor of the radio tube, was tried for fraud in 1913. He was accused of tricking the public into buying stocks in his company, the Radio Telephone Company, by making "absurd and deliberately misleading" claims about the possibility of transmitting the human voice across the Atlantic Ocean.
    • n Absurd ăb*sûrd" An absurdity.
    • a Absurd ăb*sûrd" Contrary to reason or propriety; obviously and flatly opposed to manifest truth; inconsistent with the plain dictates of common sense; logically contradictory; nonsensical; ridiculous; as, an absurd person, an absurd opinion; an absurd dream. "This proffer is absurd and reasonless.""'This phrase absurd to call a villain great."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • absurd Being or acting contrary to common sense or sound judgment; inconsistent with common sense; ridiculous; nonsensical: as, an absurd statement; absurd conduct; an absurd fellow.
    • absurd Specifically In logic or philosophy, inconsistent with reason; logically contradictory; impossible: as, that the whole is less than the sum of its parts is an absurd proposition; an absurd hypothesis.
    • absurd Synonyms Absurd, Silly, Foolish, Stupid, Irrational, Unreasonable, Preposterous, Infatuated, ridiculous, nonsensical, senseless, incongruous, unwise, ill-judged, ill-advised. (See foolish.) Foolish, absurd, and preposterous imply a contradiction of common sense, rising in degree from foolish, which is commonly applied where the contradiction is small or trivial. That which is foolish is characterized by weakness of mind, and provokes our contempt. That which is silly is still weaker, and more contemptible in its lack of sense; silly is the extreme in that direction. That which is absurd does not directly suggest weakness of mind, but it is glaringly opposed to common sense and reason: as, that a thing should be unequal to itself is absurd. That which is preposterous is the height of absurdity, an absurdity as conspicuous as getting a thing wrong side before; it excites amazement that any one should be capable of such an extreme of foolishness. That which is irrational is contrary to reason, but not especially to common sense. Unreasonable is more often used of the relation of men to each other; it implies less discredit to the understanding, but more to the will, indicating an unwillingness to conform to reason. Irrational ideas, conclusions; unreasonable demands, assumptions, people. An infatuated person is so possessed by a misleading idea or passion that his thoughts and conduct are controlled by it and turned into folly. He who is stupid appears to have little intelligence; that which is stupid is that which would be natural in a person whose powers of reasoning are defective or suspended.
    • n absurd An unreasonable person or thing; one who or that which is characterized by unreasonableness; an absurdity.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Absurd ab-surd′ obviously unreasonable or false: ridiculous
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Quotations

  • Albert Camus
    Albert%20Camus
    “At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.”
  • Thomas Hobbes
    Thomas%20Hobbes
    “The privilege of absurdity; to which no living creature is subject, but man only.”
  • Arthur Schopenhauer
    Arthur%20Schopenhauer
    “In the sphere of thought, absurdity and perversity remain the masters of the world, and their dominion is suspended only for brief periods.”
  • Marcus T. Cicero
    Marcus%20T.%20Cicero
    “Advice in old age is foolish; for what can be more absurd than to increase our provisions for the road the nearer we approach to our journey's end.”
  • Arthur Miller
    Arthur%20Miller
    “I'm the end of the line; absurd and appalling as it may seem, serious New York theater has died in my lifetime.”
  • Laurence Sterne
    Laurence%20Sterne
    “Positiveness is an absurd foible. If you are in the right, it lessens your triumph; if in the wrong, it adds shame to your defeat.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. absurdus, harsh-sounding; ab, + (prob) a derivative fr. a root svar, to sound; not connected with surd,: cf. F. absurde,. See Syringe
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. absurdusab, from, surdus, harsh-sounding, deaf.

Usage

In literature:

It will reduce universal suffrage to the absurd, and then it may be possible to try something else.
"The Explorer" by W. Somerset Maugham
Felicity, completely dressed, turned her chair round and put up her absurd little high-heeled shoes.
"The Twelfth Hour" by Ada Leverson
It was absurd for him to say that he desired to test her loyalty before he gave her his name and title.
"Ainslee's, Vol. 15, No. 6, July 1905" by Various
It's absurd, but better be absurd than sorry.
"The Art of Disappearing" by John Talbot Smith
Why, then, do we absurdly boast of free-will?
"Commentary on Genesis, Vol. II" by Martin Luther
To be merely useful was, in her eyes, to make oneself meddlesome and absurd.
"Robert Orange" by John Oliver Hobbes
It would be absurd to run down a horse like a wolf.
"Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3)" by Thomas Babington Macaulay
Barnby himself saw the absurdity of discussing it.
"The Scarlet Feather" by Houghton Townley
But we will consider only two phases of its absurdity.
"Cotton is King and The Pro-Slavery Arguments" by Various
It was as bad as such things always are, and it was evident that the dresses were ill-fitting, the hats absurd.
"The Invader" by Margaret L. Woods
Of course the papers are full of the Makeway ball, and the pictures of Mrs. Makeway are too deliciously absurd for anything.
"The Smart Set" by Clyde Fitch
Better known, she stirred in him, as a child might, an altogether indescribable sense of tenderness and absurdity.
"The Combined Maze" by May Sinclair
Vaughan hastily interrupted the absurd discussion.
"The Limit" by Ada Leverson
Such a work in ten lectures would be absurd.
"Pioneers of Science" by Oliver Lodge
It was an absurd plan.
"A Son of the Middle Border" by Hamlin Garland
The stupid press resounds the absurdity.
"Diary from March 4, 1861, to November 12, 1862" by Adam Gurowski
But he will, digging in that absurd garden.
"The Prisoner" by Alice Brown
It seems rather absurd to spend two days over it, but then the whole thing is rather absurd.
"The Red Hand of Ulster" by George A. Birmingham
Had he any sense of humor, the absurdity of the thing must have forced itself upon him and possibly helped to improve his temper.
"The Golden Woman" by Ridgwell Cullum
As, therefore, an hereditary executive called a king is a perfect absurdity in itself, any attachment to it is equally as absurd.
"The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Volume III. 1791-1804" by Thomas Paine
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In poetry:

O dear! that artful boy
Refuses me a word!
But, Sir, I shall enjoy
My food, though you're absurd!
"A Woman Scorning Her Lover" by Confucius
SIGISMUND. To me
This is tiresome and absurd.
Nought is just, or good or ill,
In my sight that balks my will.
"Life Is A Dream - Act II" by Denis Florence MacCarthy
Refused that instant to comply
With my absurd request,
For reasons she could specify,
Some twenty score at least.
"Apology To Delia : For Desiring A Lock Of Her Hair" by William Cowper
Nay, nobody understood a word,
Nor strove to understand;
But few dared say it was absurd,
So most agreed 'twas "Grand!"
"The Mystic" by C J Dennis
Groping timidly at dusk,
You shall waken with the lark
And smile to see us feel our way,
Stumbling absurdly in the dark.
"To A Lady Of Many Summers" by Edith Mirick
"A Christmas garden party!" —
You cry, "It's quite absurd!"
But then, you see, each guest that she
Invited was a bird!
"A Party" by John Joy Bell

In news:

VADUZ , Liechtenstein — It seems patently absurd to Sigvard Wohlwend that the entire country of Liechtenstein — all 62 square miles of it — could be for rent, as if it were some sort of oversized alpine cottage.
The whole idea of a luxury smartphone seems prima facie absurd, and in my happy, carefree years before encountering Vertu I sneered at it at every opportunity.
POWELL, Ohio – Mitt Romney calls campaign attacks by President Obama and his allies " vituperative " and "vicious" and "absurd" and "sad".
This typeface is not absurdly tough, yet its pointiness and near-illegibility lends a special aura of mystery that suggests magic, action and adventure.
Every year, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) publishes a "Wastebook" of absurd spending programs.
Every year, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) publishes a " Wastebook " of absurd spending programs.
Isis' last few albums -- which weaved between heavy ambience and ambient heft, usually erring on the side of spaciness -- made the Los Angeles–based band absurdly influential post-metal icons.
It would seem an odd, perhaps even absurd, announcement to make over a high school's public address system.
Earlier in September, we learned that African-American unemployment rates stayed level last month, with an absurdly high official unemployment rate of 14.1 percent.
We have learned that African American unemployment rates stayed level last month with an absurdly high official unemployment rate of 14.1 percent.
Last week, we learned that African American unemployment rates stayed level last month, with an absurdly high official unemployment rate of 14.1 percent.
Wickedly absurd "Sitter" plays on every parent's worst nightmare.
RiFF RaFF throws out a lot of spectacularly absurd self-comparisons in "Chop Another Rock," which arrived last night with an equally over-the-top video.
Now in the middle of its 16th season, "South Park" has skewered most of reality TV's most absurd creations.
Taking ideological consistency to an absurd extreme, House Republican leaders are putting their aversion to "big government" ahead of the nation's security needs.
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In science:

But this is absurd, because g (x) is strictly decreacing along any tra jectory.
Novikov-Morse theory for dynamical systems
We claim that ψλ has a continuous extension to D[0, 1] such that φλ (x) = x for any (λ, x) ∈ [0, 1]∂D, ψ0 = I d and ψ1 (D) ⊂ ∂D, which is absurd, since ψλ will be a retraction of D in its boundary.
Renormalization theory for multimodal maps
If the diameter of γ is large relative to diameter of D ∩ ∂U then γ crosses many rings An , so its hyperbolic length is large, which is absurd.
Renormalization theory for multimodal maps
This is absurd, so we conclude that α is monic.
Integral Non-commutative Spaces
Let us remember that in the wake of the creation of quantum mechanics in the years 1925–1926 a set of paradoxes was suggested to illustrate the seeming absurdity of its fundamental principles.
Schrodinger's cat and the problem of two cultures
The total density must clearly be at least as high as the minimum to deliver the required current c∇ × B/4π but, as charges of both sign are required to avoid absurdly high electric fields, it is probably much higher by a multiplicity factor η .
Coherent Emission from Magnetars
But this is an absurd as one can see in Remark 3.1.
SRB measures for weakly expanding maps
For the sake of absurdity, assume that z ′ ≥ ̺ℓ .
Bounds on the Automata Size for Presburger Arithmetic
If w ′ ∈ S (Gn−2 ) then, as above, {r(e) : s(e) = w ′ } ⊆ Gn−2 , so in particular would give w = r(ei1 ) ∈ Gn−2 , which is absurd.
Purely infinite simple Leavitt path algebras
Proof: We suppose the contrary and reason by absurdity.
An Arzela-Ascoli Theorem for Immersed Submanifolds
This is absurd, and it follows that there exists N such that for n > N , the application ψn : V → Mn is a diffeomorphism onto its image.
An Arzela-Ascoli Theorem for Immersed Submanifolds
Looking at the median running time of an algorithm gives us a more robust measure of complexity, but still a very unsatisfactory one: if an algorithm runs in polynomial time on 70% of the inputs, and in exponential time on 30% of the inputs, it seems absurd to consider it an efficient-on-average algorithm.
Average-Case Complexity
The idea of the proof is a reduction to the absurd: basing on Proposition 5.2, we will assume that ck = dk for k large, obtaining an upper bound on the growth of ck which is in contrast with the lower bound proved in Proposition 6.1.
Perturbation from symmetry and multiplicity of solutions for strongly indefinite elliptic systems
But in the eyes of anyone who is trained in the set-theoretic tradition, such denial might be absurd, since the existence of I (or K) seems to be an obvious consequence of the existence of the set of all real numbers.
Current Mathematics Appears to Be Inconsistent
Hence j ((0, 1)) = z is a positive function on the unit circle, which is absurd.
Open partial isometries and positivity in operator spaces
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