: a state or condition in which something expected, wanted, or looked for is not present or does not exist : a state or condition in which something is absent
- an absence [=lack] of detail
- In the absence of reform [=without reform], progress will be slow.
: a failure to be present at a usual or expected place : the state of being absent
- an unexplained absence from work
- His absence was noted by the teacher.
- The meeting continued in his absence. [=without him being present]
- They were conspicuous by their absence. [=it was very noticeable that they were not present]
: the period of time that one is absent
- She recently returned to work after a long absence.
: inattention to present surroundings or occurrences
—usually used in the phrase absence of mind
- blamed the error on absence of mind