adjective ab·sent \ˈab-sənt\

: not present at a usual or expected place

: not present at all : not existing

: showing that a person is thinking about something else : showing a lack of attention to what is happening or being said

Full Definition of ABSENT

:  not present or attending :  missing
:  not existing :  lacking <danger in a situation where power is absent — M. H. Trytten>
:  lost in thought :  not attentive
ab·sent·ly adverb

Examples of ABSENT

  1. an absent father who is not home most of the time
  2. a gene that occurs in mammals but that is absent in birds
  3. a landscape in which vegetation is almost entirely absent
  4. He made an absent reply to her question as he continued to watch the TV.

Origin of ABSENT

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin absent-, absens, present participle of abesse to be absent, from ab- + esse to be — more at is
First Known Use: 14th century

Related to ABSENT

Synonym Discussion of ABSENT

abstracted, preoccupied, absent, absentminded, distracted mean inattentive to what claims or demands consideration. abstracted implies absorption of the mind in something other than one's surroundings, and often suggests reflection on weighty matters <walking about with an abstracted air>. preoccupied often implies having one's attention so taken up by thoughts as to neglect others <too preoccupied with her debts to enjoy the meal>. absent stresses inability to fix the mind on present concerns due more to mental wandering than to concentration on other matters <an absent stare>. absentminded implies that the mind is fixed elsewhere and often refers to a habit of abstractedness <so absentminded, he's been known to wear mismatched shoes>. distracted may suggest an inability to concentrate caused by worry, sorrow, or anxiety <was too distracted by grief to continue working>.


verb ab·sent \ab-ˈsent, ˈab-ˌ\

Definition of ABSENT

transitive verb
:  to keep (oneself) away

First Known Use of ABSENT

15th century


preposition ab·sent \ˈab-sənt\

: in the absence of (something)

Full Definition of ABSENT

:  in the absence of :  without

Examples of ABSENT

  1. Absent any objections, the plan will proceed.
  2. Absent such an agreement we can go no further.

First Known Use of ABSENT


Related to ABSENT

ABSENT Defined for Kids


adjective ab·sent \ˈab-sənt\

Definition of ABSENT for Kids

:  not present <I missed a field trip when I was absent.>
:  not existing <Trees were absent from the desert landscape.>
:  showing a lack of attention <an absent stare>


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