absent

adjective
ab·​sent | \ ˈab-sənt How to pronounce absent (audio) \

Definition of absent

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : not present at a usual or expected place : missing was absent from class today sharing memories of absent friends She was conspicously absent [=her absence was very noticeable] at the meeting.
2 : not existing : lacking … danger in a situation where power is absent— M. H. Trytten a gene that occurs in mammals but is absent in birds
3 : showing a lack of attention to what is happening or being said : not attentive had an absent look on her face an absent reply

absent

verb
ab·​sent | \ ab-ˈsent How to pronounce absent (audio) , ˈab-ˌ\
absented; absenting; absents

Definition of absent (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to keep (oneself) away He absented himself from the meeting.

absent

preposition
ab·​sent | \ ˈab-sənt How to pronounce absent (audio) \

Definition of absent (Entry 3 of 3)

US, formal
: in the absence of (something) : without Absent any objections, the plan will proceed.

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Other Words from absent

Adjective

absently adverb
He replied absently to her question.

Synonyms & Antonyms for absent

Synonyms: Adjective

away, missing, out

Synonyms: Preposition

minus, sans, wanting, without

Antonyms: Adjective

here, in, present

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Choose the Right Synonym for absent

Adjective

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

Examples of absent in a Sentence

Adjective

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

Preposition

Absent any objections, the plan will proceed. Absent such an agreement we can go no further.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Curiously, the 30th Anniversary Edition also gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, something absent from standard 2019 Miatas. Daniel Golson, Car and Driver, "Mazda Is Bringing More Units of the MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition to the U.S.," 14 May 2019 For example, when Sofia begins to try to cover for the children’s absent father, that is her way of protecting them from suffering from their father leaving them. Yolanda Machado, Harper's BAZAAR, "Yalitza Aparicio on Roma's Significance: "This Film Is An Opportunity to Make People Reflect"," 24 Feb. 2019 And, somewhat remarkably, when addressing England’s failings at previous tournaments, those three characteristics have always been absent. SI.com, "90Min World Cup Fan Diaries: Starting to Believe," 8 July 2018 Supervisor Kathryn Barger abstained, and Supervisor Janice Hahn was absent. Emily Alpert Reyes, latimes.com, "L.A. city and county officials expand legal aid for migrant children," 3 July 2018 Readers rant and rave about U.S. Postal service on snow days RANT To the U.S. Postal Service for being absent from my neighborhood for a few days during the bad weather. Seattle Times Readers, The Seattle Times, "Rant & Rave: Mail service in snowy weather," 12 Feb. 2019 Nearly one in five Maryland students — 18.3 percent — was chronically absent last year, the data show. Jess Nocera, Howard County Times, "Howard school absentee rate is lowest in Maryland," 22 June 2018 Homeless students are chronically absent at far higher rates than other children, are more likely to drop out than their peers and less likely to graduate or to test on grade level. Elizabeth A. Harris And Kate Taylor, New York Times, "Welcome to New York, and Here’s a To-Do List," 2 Apr. 2018 According to the new Alabama school report card, more than 17 percent of students were chronically absent during the 2016-2017 school year. Trisha Powell Crain, AL.com, "Alabama Gov. Ivey aims for reading proficiency in all third-graders by 2022," 3 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Lori Loughlin was noticeably absent from the Kids’ Choice Awards on Saturday, but apparently not from the minds of her Fuller House castmates Candace Cameron Bure, Andrea Barber, and Jodie Sweetin. Vogue, "The Ladies of Fuller House Seemed to Stand Behind Lori Loughlin at the Kids’ Choice Awards," 25 Mar. 2019 Reports of genuine substance regarding any possible Chelsea incomings have been noticeably absent from the typical media buzz since the end of the season. SI.com, "Chelsea in Crisis as Senior Players Grow 'Increasingly Concerned' Over Lack of Transfer Activity," 19 June 2018 The number of these weapons in the American public’s hands is unknown, because the ATF cannot track them absent a serial number. Ben Kesling, WSJ, "Coast Guard Officer Accused of Planning Terror Attack Amassed an Arsenal," 21 Feb. 2019 Both found that employees who had tested positive before employment were absent more frequently and were more likely to be fired than those who tested negative. Mark A.r. Kleiman, Vox, "Is it time to do away with job applicant drug testing?," 27 July 2018 Meeting records show that Lori Flores Weisskopf, a commissioner since 2011, has been absent from 10 of 14 park board meetings since January and 17 of the 29 meetings that have taken place in the 12 months since last July. Karen Berkowitz, chicagotribune.com, "Park District of Highland Park commissioner missed 70 percent of meetings so far this year," 6 July 2018 Holler on the Hill: New music festival will bring indie, Americana acts to Garfield Park The commemorative marker, originally installed on June 26, 2002, has been absent in recent years because of construction north and south of Market Street. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Elvis Presley plaque is coming back to Indianapolis on 41st anniversary of final concert," 22 June 2018 Since the Stormy Daniels stories began, Melania has been noticeably absent from her husband’s side. James Pindell, BostonGlobe.com, "Four theories as to what Melania Trump was thinking wearing that jacket to the border," 21 June 2018 This Clear History feature is a standard tool in popular web browsers, but has been noticeably absent in Facebook prior to its wave of data privacy scandals. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Won't Let Controversies Crush Optimism," 1 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Kavanaugh confirmation derailed by sexual misconduct allegations: A list of his accusers," 27 Sep. 2018 Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Kavanaugh confirmation derailed by sexual misconduct allegations: A list of his accusers," 27 Sep. 2018 Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Kavanaugh confirmation derailed by sexual misconduct allegations: A list of his accusers," 27 Sep. 2018 Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Kavanaugh confirmation derailed by sexual misconduct allegations: A list of his accusers," 27 Sep. 2018 Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Kavanaugh confirmation derailed by sexual misconduct allegations: A list of his accusers," 27 Sep. 2018 Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Kavanaugh confirmation derailed by sexual misconduct allegations: A list of his accusers," 27 Sep. 2018 Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Kavanaugh confirmation derailed by sexual misconduct allegations: A list of his accusers," 27 Sep. 2018 Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Christine Blasey Ford's Testimony—Here's Everything You Should Know," 26 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'absent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of absent

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Preposition

1944, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for absent

Adjective

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin absent-, absens, present participle of abesse "to be away, be absent," from ab- ab- + -sens, present participle (attested only with prefixes) of esse "to be" — more at is entry 1

Verb

Middle English absenten, borrowed from Anglo-French absenter, borrowed from Late Latin absentāre, verbal derivative of Latin absent-, absens absent entry 1

Preposition

derivative of absent entry 1

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Statistics for absent

Last Updated

23 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for absent

The first known use of absent was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for absent

absent

adjective
ab·​sent | \ ˈab-sənt How to pronounce absent (audio) \

Kids Definition of absent

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on absent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with absent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for absent

Spanish Central: Translation of absent

Nglish: Translation of absent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of absent for Arabic Speakers

Comments on absent

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