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

Other stores sell vape e-cigarettes, Neutrogena face wash and pods of Keurig Starbucks Caffe Verona — the sort of specialty items that had long been absent in Venezuela. Washington Post, "Venezuela’s moribund economy shows a pulse amid US sanctions," 12 Aug. 2019 While the state’s largest cities of Louisville and Lexington have held pride festivals for at least a decade, the events have been absent in small-town Kentucky, where more conservative attitudes have held sway. Chris Kenning, The Courier-Journal, "'Things have changed': Pride parades spread across rural Kentucky as LGBT acceptance grows," 13 June 2019 That doesn’t mean he’ll be absent altogether on Hall-of-Fame weekend. Dave Clark, Cincinnati.com, "Pro Football Hall of Fame won't introduce Terrell Owens at Gold Jacket Dinner or induction," 12 July 2018 That doesn't mean individual downloads for games from older consoles will be completely absent from the Switch, of course. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Nintendo says Switch won’t get Virtual Console classic game downloads," 8 May 2018 Engineering classes were typically offered Monday, Wednesday, and Friday—and Houlahan said Stanford made no attempt to accommodate the ROTC students who would be absent. Jeffrey Mervis, Science | AAAS, "How a Pennsylvania industrial engineer became the odds-on favorite to win a seat in Congress," 8 May 2018 Lozano, who’d been absent from his daughter’s life, argued that he’d been denied visitation rights. Los Angeles Times, "Henry Lozano, who engineered the political careers of emerging Latino leaders, dies," 18 July 2019 Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were sadly absent from the occasion due to a prior engagement, which was also the case when Prince Louis was christened in 2018. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Archie's Christening Photos Are So Much Like the Cambridge Children's Portraits," 7 July 2019 Slavery Reparations Reparations for black Americans has been in the spotlight during this campaign cycle, especially following the House Judiciary Committee’s Juneteenth hearing on the matter, but the subject was absent from the debate stage. Renae Reints, Fortune, "What the 2020 Democratic Candidates Didn’t Say During the First Debate," 27 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

One was a family that was absent from the courtroom. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, ""Leave me in a cell": The desperate pleas of asylum seekers inside El Paso's immigration court," 11 Aug. 2019 Here are other personnel notes: Running back Travis Dye was absent due to illness. oregonlive.com, "Oregon fall camp Day 5 practice observations: Offense gets edge in Oklahoma drill with Ducks in full pads, RB sick," 7 Aug. 2019 Maisie appeared to be absent during Turner and Jonas's legal ceremony in Las Vegas in early May, so fans are undoubtedly excited to see her present for the second wedding. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner Reunite at Pre-Wedding Celebrations in France," 28 June 2019 Aaron Tevebaugh, the council member who absent from the last meeting, asked for multiple design clarifications from petitioning developer Wes Jackson. Casey Smith, Indianapolis Star, "Avon Town Council approves contentious development proposal," 28 June 2019 By the time Ever opens its doors, Chicago diners won’t have tasted Duffy’s food in more than two years — a long time to be absent from the fine-dining world. Phil Vettel, chicagotribune.com, "Exclusive: Former Grace partners Curtis Duffy and Michael Muser reveal their next project: Ever, opening Spring 2020," 24 June 2019 The Queen is nevertheless expected to be absent at the celebrations due to prior engagements, according to the newspaper. Matthew Robinson, CNN, "Meghan and Harry release new photo of Archie for Father's Day," 16 June 2019 Campaign slogans and glaring Trumpisms were not the only things absent from the speech. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "Donald Trump’s “Inoffensive” War on Reality," 5 July 2019 The race toward low-fee funds pioneered by Vanguard Group and BlackRock Inc. — two giants notably absent from this latest effort—has forced rivals to slash costs, cut jobs and even move their corporate headquarters to cheaper locations. Liz Hoffman, WSJ, "Giant Investors Are Coming After One of Wall Street’s Cash Cows," 26 June 2019

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

15 Aug 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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