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

The View star Whoopi Goldberg has been absent from the show for almost a month. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Why 'The View' Fans Think "Something Serious" With Whoopi Goldberg's Illness Is Going On," 4 Mar. 2019 Meghan's royal sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, was also noticeably absent. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Who's Attending Meghan Markle's Baby Shower in NYC?," 19 Feb. 2019 While some familiar faces may be absent for parts of the day—Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are expected to miss some of festivities—the guest list for the ceremony was still stacked. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "All the Celebrity Arrivals at Princess Eugenie's Royal Wedding," 12 Oct. 2018 The emergency items such as fire extinguishers and axes are absent. Andrea Estes, BostonGlobe.com, "Baker moves to crack down on commuter train engineers with bad driving records," 19 Apr. 2018 Prediction for the season: Like Salazar, both Walker and Crazy Dog are absent from promotional materials for the coming season. Josh Wigler, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Fear the Walking Dead': Where Everyone Left Off and What's Next (After the Big Crossover)," 8 Apr. 2018 Just because Ben & Jerry's skimped on the cream and added more air to achieve the new, healthy-ish (emphasis on the -ish) flavors doesn't mean its signature mix-ins are absent. Melissa Minton, Bon Appetit, "Ben & Jerry's Releases Moo-phoria, Three New Low-Calorie Ice Cream Flavors," 7 Feb. 2018 Wives are pictured choosing cheese and setting up decorations, but their names are often absent. Dana Burke, Houston Chronicle, "Photos: River Oaks life in the 1950s - 1980s," 1 Feb. 2018 The Panhandle Health District suggests that a school close if 30 percent of its students are absent for three days in a row, according to the News-Press. Michael Katz, idahostatesman, "The flu is closing an Idaho school for the week. Nearly 1/3 of its students were out sick Tuesday.," 9 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But absent a rebuttal, its impact should not be underestimated. Alan M. Dershowitz, WSJ, "Don’t Let Mueller’s Report Go Unanswered," 2 Dec. 2018 The vote was 8-0, with Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda absent. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "Seattle City Council gives preliminary approval for University of Washington’s massive growth plan," 24 Sep. 2018 The couple accepted the honor with a video as they were absent from the award ceremony. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Beyoncé and Jay-Z Recreate Their "Apes**t" Video with a Meghan Markle Painting," 20 Feb. 2019 Drug prohibition drives but is inexplicably absent from analyses of the mounting lethality of the opioid crisis. Kathleen Frydl, Vox, "Why we should abolish ICE — and the DEA too," 14 Aug. 2018 Still, those donations don't mean the industry's lobbying groups were absent in Washington as Republican lawmakers were crafting the bill, which passed in December without a single Democratic vote. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "Trump’s tax cuts help his loudest critics in Hollywood (and hurt lower-income showbiz pros)," 3 May 2018 BlackRock’s Larry Fink wrote last year in a letter to CEOs, as if to say that capitalism absent such an overt objective would be inherently bad. Rupert Darwall, WSJ, "‘The Prosperity Paradox’ Review: A Better Way to Fight Poverty," 30 Jan. 2019 Even absent an actual pullout, the spirit of the alliance is at stake, many here say. Michael Birnbaum, chicagotribune.com, "Ahead of summit, allies wonder: Will NATO survive Trump?," 9 July 2018 The Ghostly Super Nt will be $249.99, compared to $189.99 for the original, though the new model does come bundled with a wireless controller and adapter, which is absent from the base Super Nt. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Analogue’s limited edition SNES has custom sounds from your favorite Ghostly artists," 3 Dec. 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. 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

14 Mar 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

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