As far as I can tell, the word absurd means "ridiculous." However, "ab-" means "not" or "away from" in Latin, while "surd" means "irrational". Thus, "absurd" literally translates to "not irrational", or "rational". Does anyone have any insight as to how the word suddenly came to mean the exact antonym?

closed as off-topic by Hot Licks, RaceYouAnytime, Cascabel, NVZ, k1eran Jul 14 '17 at 11:26

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    Please include the research you’ve done, or consider if your question suits our English Language Learners site better. Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. – Hot Licks Jul 14 '17 at 1:27
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    What did Online Etymology Dictionary say? – Hot Licks Jul 14 '17 at 1:27
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    OED says: [a. Fr. absurde, ad. L. absurd-us inharmonious, tasteless, foolish, f. ab- off, here intensive + surdus deaf, inaudible, insufferable to the ear.] – John Lawler Jul 14 '17 at 1:36
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    @Joseph Farah What Lawler means is that the prefix ab- is not privative (it doesn't change the meaning of the stem to its contrary) in this case. The ab- works as an intensifier, it intensifies the meaning of 'surdus'. - If you are interested in questions like these, search the internet for good resources like those mentioned in the answer and comments to your question! – Ashwin Schumann Jul 14 '17 at 6:45

According to Lewis and Short's Latin Dictionary, "absurdus" literally means out of tune, and a figurative meaning of it is irrational, hence not in tune with your mind.

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