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

But later Sunday, Boquist was absent from the chamber as Majority Leader Ginny Burdick called for the Senate to reconsider. oregonlive.com, "Bill to eliminate single-family zoning in Oregon neighborhoods passes final legislative hurdle," 30 June 2019 Many noted that national security adviser John Bolton, a hawk who has advocated for military action against Iran, was absent from the trip to the DMZ. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "Leading a country 'means killing people': Tucker Carlson defends Trump friendship with Kim Jong Un," 30 June 2019 The rest were absent or voted for it - including Schumer. Author: Mike Debonis, Rachael Bade, Anchorage Daily News, "‘A betrayal’: Inside Pelosi, Schumer’s rift on border bill," 29 June 2019 Following a 2-2 vote on the proposal at the June 13 meeting — one council member was absent — the council voted 3-2 Thursday evening t approve the Countryside Crossing plans, the heart of which is a senior living community and storage unit facility. Casey Smith, Indianapolis Star, "Avon Town Council approves contentious development proposal," 28 June 2019 Amid this tentative evolution, Kabir Singh, telling the story of a man from his perspective with the female lead being absent for most of the second half, comes across as a movie of a time past. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "Dear woke India, where were you before Kabir Singh?," 28 June 2019 On average, the researchers calculated, women were absent from work or school 1.3 days per year because of their period and, on average, productivity loss was equivalent to 8.9 days per year. Katie Hunt, CNN, "Period pain linked to nearly 9 days of lost productivity a year," 27 June 2019 The most striking feature of the Trump administration’s conference showcasing the economic side of its Middle East peace plan was what was largely absent: criticism of Israeli policy toward the Palestinian territories. Felicia Schwartz, WSJ, "Arab Officials Mute Criticism of Israel at Trump Administration’s Middle-East Peace Conference," 26 June 2019 Defender Mathieu Deplagne was present for the start of Tuesday's session but was absent on Wednesday's. , Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati.com, "FC Cincinnati notebook: Rookie Logan Gdula back in the fold," 26 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Though incumbency gives him a boost, absent some game-changing event Mr Trump would struggle against a strong opponent. The Economist, "Donald Trump launches his re-election campaign," 20 June 2019 In the near term, Iowa’s Feb. 3 caucuses are far more important for Biden than for Trump, who is virtually assured of capturing his party’s nomination absent an unlikely political earthquake. Janet Hook, latimes.com, "Trump and Biden trade barbs as they cross paths and split screens in Iowa," 11 June 2019 That view is unlikely to change absent a steep drop in the stock market or a pronounced slowdown in the American economy, two metrics that Mr. Trump pays close attention to. New York Times, "Trump Says Mexico Tariffs Worked, Emboldening Trade Fight With China," 10 June 2019 The above parallel universe scenario can take place only if all the legislators meet all the others every day and no one is ever absent. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘The Bulldogs That Bulldogs Fight’," 16 May 2019 There were some mitigating circumstances: The Americans played absent some of their big guns. Patrick Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "USMNT comes to Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium on the heels of 1-0 loss to Jamaica," 24 Apr. 2019 Amazon is going ahead with a fifth season of Transparent absent the wandering hands of Jeffrey Tambor. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "Cruel and Unusual Punishment," 10 Feb. 2019 Noticeably absent in the White House response is any condemnation of Russia and the evidence that Kremlin intelligence officials launched a hostile hacking campaign against a US political party in an attempt to interfere in a presidential election. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Rudy Giuliani: the Mueller indictments are great news for Donald Trump," 13 July 2018 About 1,000 people gathered to honor and remember living and deceased veterans in a Memorial Day ceremony on Mt. Soledad on Monday, with special attention given to one person who had been conspicuously absent from the monument. Gary Warth, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Fallen remembered, President Grant honored at Mt. Soledad," 28 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. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Kavanaugh confirmation derailed by sexual misconduct allegations: A list of his accusers," 27 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

4 Jul 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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