Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


 (əb-sûrd′, -zûrd′)
a. Extremely unreasonable, incongruous, or inappropriate: an absurd request.
b. Impossible to take seriously; silly: a character who goes through many absurd adventures. See Synonyms at foolish.
2. Of, relating to, or manifesting the view that there is no order or meaning in human life or in the universe.
3. Of or relating to absurdism.
The condition or state in which humans exist in an absurd universe, without meaning or purpose. Used chiefly with the.

[Latin absurdus, out of tune, absurd : ab-, intensive pref.; see ab-1 + surdus, deaf, muffled.]

ab·surd′i·ty (-sûr′dĭ-tē, -zûr′-), ab·surd′ness n.
ab·surd′ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(æbˈsɜr dɪ ti, -ˈzɜr-)

n., pl. -ties.
1. the state or quality of being absurd.
2. something absurd.
[1425–75; (< Middle French) < Late Latin]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.




  1. Absurd as a monkey in a dinner jacket —Anon
  2. Absurd as an excuse —Anon
  3. Absurd … as expecting a drowning man to laugh —German proverb

    Time and use often transform proverbs into similes. In this case, the original proverb was “A fool will laugh when he is drowning.”

  4. Absurd as hiring a street vendor to run a major corporation —Anon
  5. Absurd as looking for hot water under the ice —Latin proverb
  6. Absurd as mathematics without numbers —Anon
  7. Absurd as to expect a harvest in the dead of winter —Robert South
  8. Absurd as to instruct a rooster in the laying of eggs —H. L. Mencken
  9. Absurd as … to put bread in a cold oven —Latin proverb
  10. Absurd as … to put water in a basket —Danish proverb
  11. Absurd as trying to drink from a colander —Latin proverb
  12. Absurd … like baking snow in the oven —German proverb

    The simile has evolved from “He baked snow in the oven.”

  13. Absurd … like jumping into the water for fear of the rain —French proverb
  14. Absurd, like using a guillotine to cure dandruff —Clare Booth Luce
  15. Absurd … like vowing never to be sick again —Lynne Sharon Schwartz
  16. As logical as trying to put out a fire with applications of kerosene —Tallulah Bankhead
  17. Attending the Gerald R. Ford Symposium on Humor and the Presidency is sort of like attending the Ayatollah Khomeini Symposium on the sexual revolution —Pat Paulsen, at September 19, 1986 symposium in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
  18. Bizarre and a little disconcerting, like finding out that the Mona Lisa was a WAC —Jonathan Valin
  19. (His … ) body so sleek with health, that his talk of death seemed ludicrous, like the description of a funeral by a painted clown —Christopher Isherwood
  20. Comparing [Ronald] Reagan with [Franklin D.] Roosevelt is like comparing Charles Schulz [“Peanuts” cartoonist] to Rembrandt —Mike Sommer
  21. Incongruous as a mouse dancing with an elephant —Anon
  22. Incongruous as a priest going out with a prostitute —Anon
  23. Looks as well as a diamond necklace about a sow’s neck —H. G. Bohn’s Handbook of Proverbs
  24. Makes about as much sense … as it would to put army shoes on a … French poodle —William Diehl
  25. Ridiculous as monkeys reading books —Delmore Schwartz
  26. Stupid and awkward, like chimpanzees dressed up in formal gowns —Scott Spencer


  27. That’s absurd, like Castro calling Tito a dictator —John Wainwright
  28. You just can’t go around thinking that McDonald’s food is going to be steaming hot. It’s like expecting the hamburger to be served on a French roll —Ann Beattie
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.absurdity - a message whose content is at variance with reason
hokum, meaninglessness, nonsense, nonsensicality, bunk - a message that seems to convey no meaning
2.absurdity - a ludicrous follyabsurdity - a ludicrous folly; "the crowd laughed at the absurdity of the clown's behavior"
folly, foolishness, unwiseness - the trait of acting stupidly or rashly
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


noun ridiculousness, nonsense, folly, stupidity, foolishness, silliness, idiocy, irrationality, incongruity, meaninglessness, daftness (informal), senselessness, illogicality, ludicrousness, unreasonableness, preposterousness, farcicality, craziness (informal), bêtise (rare), farcicalness, illogicalness I get angry at the absurdity of a situation.
"absurdity: a statement of belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion" [Ambrose Bierce The Devil's Dictionary]
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. Something or someone uproariously funny or absurd:
Informal: hoot, joke, laugh, scream.
Slang: gas, howl, panic, riot.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
سَخَافَة، أمْر مُنَاف لِلعَقْل


[əbˈsəːdɪtɪ] N
1. (= quality) → lo absurdo
2. (= act of madness) → locura f, disparate m
it would be an absurdity to trysería una locura or un disparate intentarlo
it would be an absurdity to say thatsería absurdo decir eso
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[əbˈsɜːrdɪti] n (= ridiculousness) → absurdité f
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


nAbsurde(s) nt no pl (→ of an +dat); (thing etc also) → Absurdität f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[əbˈsɜːdɪtɪ] n
a. (no pl, see adj) → assurdità, assurdo, ridicolaggine f
b. (thing) → assurdità f inv
the absurdities of life → le assurdità della vita
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(əbˈsəːd) adjective
unreasonable or ridiculous. These demands are absolutely absurd.
abˈsurdly adverb
abˈsurdity (plural abˈsurdities) noun
abˈsurdness noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
But in the Epic poem the absurdity passes unnoticed.
For if absurdity be the subject of laughter, doubt you not but great boldness is seldom without some absurdity.
"I am temperate to the verge of absurdity," replied the Tramp.
To the former her raillery was probably, as far as it regarded only himself, perfectly indifferent; but to the latter it was at first incomprehensible; and when its object was understood, she hardly knew whether most to laugh at its absurdity, or censure its impertinence, for she considered it as an unfeeling reflection on the colonel's advanced years, and on his forlorn condition as an old bachelor.
Poets, of course, may be satisfactorily read in volumes of, selections; but to me, at least, a book of brief extracts from twenty or a hundred prose authors is an absurdity. Perhaps I may venture to add that personally I find it advisable to pass hastily over the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and so gain as much time as possible for the nineteenth.
"Then," suggested the idea, with a blush for its own absurdity, "why not go on pilgrimage and seek her?
Judges and starters have been conveniently blind to this absurdity, but the public demonstration off St.
And now that the providential occurrence was apparently close at hand, it would have been sheer absurdity to think that the supply would be short of the need: as absurd as a faith that believed in half a miracle for want of strength to believe in a whole one.
An officer formerly attached to a king's household, whose business it was to amuse the court by ludicrous actions and utterances, the absurdity being attested by his motley costume.
Or what greater absurdity can there be than putting before us an old man as a swashbuckler, a young man as a poltroon, a lackey using fine language, a page giving sage advice, a king plying as a porter, a princess who is a kitchen-maid?
Now to say that the honour I here mean, and which was, I thought, all the honour I could be supposed to mean, will uphold, much less dictate an untruth, is to assert an absurdity too shocking to be conceived."
Hence the absurdity of the interview; the gulf between them was economic as well as spiritual.