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 conspicuously 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-ˌsent \
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.

Other Words from absent

Adjective

absently adverb
He replied absently to her question.

Synonyms & Antonyms for absent

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Preposition

Antonyms: Adjective

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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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective One talker: Russian officials and oligarchs, long a fixture of Davos, are notably absent this year. Allison Morrow, CNN, 23 May 2022 Murray was also absent when the Cardinals began their offseason strength and conditioning program last month. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 23 May 2022 The first star was Lowry, who has been absent for most of the playoffs because of a hamstring injury. New York Times, 22 May 2022 Their colleagues, Jerry Jones and Liana LeBaron, were absent. Blake Nelsonstaff Reporter, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 May 2022 The western music industry’s indulgence in a woozy cocktail of pills, powders and booze is absent in South Korea. Taylor Glasby, Billboard, 19 May 2022 The spark and originality present in the best Arcade Fire songs—and the best apocalyptic pop—is absent both musically and lyrically. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 5 May 2022 Gallagher was absent during the vote, because of a prior commitment. Kaitlin Durbin, cleveland, 4 May 2022 Also in the party were Lord and Countess Mountbatten, though the Duke of Edinburgh was absent, having already left for a four-month official trip on the Royal Yacht Britannia. Michelle Morgan, Town & Country, 3 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But absent the intelligence from the United States, Ukraine would have struggled to target the warship with the confidence necessary to expend two valuable Neptune missiles, which were in short supply, according to people familiar with the strike. Dan Lamothe, Washington Post, 11 May 2022 The complaint listed particular bruises and the broken collarbone and concludes such conditions do not occur in nonmobile infants absent some abuse. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 May 2022 But even absent those trends, the factors that have pushed up prices may be hard to unwind. New York Times, 30 Apr. 2022 The Electro looks and flies like an ordinary light aircraft, but absent the roar of internal combustion, its single propeller makes a sound like beating wings. New York Times, 16 Apr. 2022 Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, its oldest members, are just 73 and 72, respectively; absent a health issue, that means this majority couldo remain the ultimate arbiter of the nation's laws for as much as another decade. Ronald Brownstein, CNN, 12 Apr. 2022 The war will not create a global recession — absent an escalation. Ken Silverstein, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2022 Journal Editorial Report: But do the federal agencies have this power absent a specific grant of authority from Congress? Sherman Joyce, WSJ, 12 Jan. 2022 The tranche of records will be turned over by March 3, absent a court order, officials said. Benjamin Siegel, ABC News, 2 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, 27 Sep. 2018 Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, 27 Sep. 2018 Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, 27 Sep. 2018 Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, 27 Sep. 2018 Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, 27 Sep. 2018 Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, 27 Sep. 2018 Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, 27 Sep. 2018 Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, 27 Sep. 2018 See More

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.

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

Learn More About absent

Time Traveler for absent

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near absent

absence of blade

absent

absentation

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Statistics for absent

Last Updated

27 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Absent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/absent. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on absent

Nglish: Translation of absent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of absent for Arabic Speakers

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