I was reading a few sentences and I couldn't understand 'In any absolute sense' here. Could anyone please explain to me what it means?

  1. In any absolute sense I would not rate this place 4/5. It is somewhat dated: the bathroom fixtures in my room were not great, and the fitness room is bare-bones.

  2. "It is paradoxical, yet true, to say, that the more we know, the more ignorant we become in the absolute sense, for it is only through enlightenment that we become conscious of our limitations. Precisely one of the most gratifying results of intellectual evolution is the continuous opening up of new and greater prospects."

  3. I think this is the right answer - they can have arrived by now is idiomatically unlikely, but it's certainly not "incorrect" in any absolute sense.

Please explain to me what in any absolute sense means here in above examples.

Thank you

  • 4
    It means according to some agree-upon universal scale of judgment. As opposed to a relative sense, which means by comparison to other like things. This place could be a 4/5 in a relative sense if every other place had no bathrooms at all and were filthy, unsafe firetraps to boot.
    – deadrat
    Apr 3, 2016 at 8:56
  • Thank you deadrat sir. But I have not understood how 'in any absolute sense' is being used in "In any absolute sense I would not rate this place 4/5. It is somewhat dated: the bathroom fixtures in my room were not great, and the fitness room is bare-bones." Can you please explain to me?
    – Policewala
    Apr 3, 2016 at 15:46
  • deadrat sir do you remember me? I am from India and I am active on englishforums as you were. But sadly you are no longer active there. I got sad and worried about you, but I am happy you are fine and I missed you and your knowledge sharing. I did private message you on englishforums. Sir let us keep in touch please and please tell me a way how I can contact you directly. If you can go to englishforums you can see my messages for you there. I am happy I met you again. My prayers have been answered by god. Moderators please don't delete my comment. Let it reach deadrat. Please.
    – Policewala
    Apr 3, 2016 at 15:47
  • policewala, I still use the private mail system on englishforums. Check my message to you there.
    – deadrat
    Apr 4, 2016 at 1:47
  • deadrat sir i need your help. I am at the forums private chat. Waiting for you there.
    – Policewala
    Jun 4, 2016 at 7:28

1 Answer 1


I am not completely sure but I will try to help:

First "In any" tells us that it is not defined in a singular definite manner but rather a multitude of them.

"Absolute sense" shows us that in a sense it also has to be absolute and completely correct. Remember it only has to be correct not definite or the only possible answer.

So, that tells to us that "In any absolute sense" means "In any correct but not definite manner."

It's pretty much a glorified way of saying "most definitely" or "truly."

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