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-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.

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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

Sample-Hughes, the only Democrat and the only person of color from the Shore in the House, will fill the role of speaker pro tem, with the responsibility of leading the chamber during floor sessions when Jones is absent. Baltimore Sun Staff, baltimoresun.com, "Speaker Jones names lone Eastern Shore Democrat as second-in-command for her first year leading Maryland House," 6 Sep. 2019 His influence on the team is something which is almost exclusively seen when Xhaka is absent, with Arsenal often looking disjointed without their captain, even against opponents where there's an obvious gulf in class. SI.com, "Granit Xhaka: How Arsenal's Misunderstood Midfielder Has Become the Club's Priceless Scapegoat," 5 Sep. 2019 But now the researchers have been able to show that the fragment has features that are seen in younger A. afarensis skulls but are absent in the MRD cranium. Colin Barras, Scientific American, "Rare 3.8 Million-Year-Old Skull Recasts Origins of Iconic “Lucy” Fossil," 29 Aug. 2019 If any component of targeting, like a player aiming at an opponent with the intent of attacking, is absent, the call on the field will be overturned. Alan Blinder, New York Times, "Rules Changes in College Football: Targeting, Overtime and Blindside Blocks," 29 Aug. 2019 That’s how much Burbank Unified officials estimate the school district loses in state funding each time one of its roughly 15,000 students is absent per day. Andrew J. Campa, Burbank Leader, "Burbank Unified highlights the cost — in dollars — of absenteeism," 27 Aug. 2019 Among the business that day was the election of a president pro tempore – someone to serve as the acting mayor when the mayor is absent or unable to perform his or her duties. Jack Greiner, Cincinnati.com, "Strictly Legal: Let the sun shine – Ohio style," 26 Aug. 2019 Tiger Woods didn't qualify for the conclusion of the FedEx Cup Playoffs and is absent from the final tournament of the season. David Close, CNN, "Weekend sports guide: College football is back and Little League and PGA Tour crown champions," 23 Aug. 2019 Because McCormick was absent at the July 17 meeting and Gonzalez was not counted in the roll call, the council lacked the four members needed for a special meeting quorum. Scott Huddleston, ExpressNews.com, "Castle Hills councilwoman’s seat in limbo as politics continues to roil San Antonio suburb," 9 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And the distraction-management software Freedom offers a mode that won’t unlock affected apps absent a telephone-support call. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "I Tried to Limit My Screen Time," 5 Sep. 2019 In 2016, Walker reduced the amount available for checks, an action upheld by the Alaska Supreme Court, which also said absent a constitutional amendment, the dividend program must compete for annual funding like other programs. Washington Post, "Alaska governor OKs smaller oil-wealth check for now," 22 Aug. 2019 Indeed, the report reveals a staggering, mind-numbing number of lies — to the point where no American can trust a single word that comes from this president or this White House absent compelling substantiating evidence. David French, National Review, "Today, Impeachment Died Another Death," 24 July 2019 But in this victory — as in the others touted by the coalition — the mediator said armed U.S. drones were absent, despite the large, obvious convoy. Maggie Michael, Fox News, "'Unite with the devil': Yemen war binds US, allies, al-Qaida," 7 Aug. 2018 Alaska’s constitution requires three-quarters of the Legislature’s 60 members to approve an override, and more than a third of the Legislature was absent at the time of the vote. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Dunleavy backs ‘incomplete’ $1,600 dividend and stands by most of his June budget vetoes," 20 Aug. 2019 Per Se, which dropped from #81 to #115, is owned by Thomas Keller — Keller’s Yountville destination the French Laundry is notably absent from this year’s list thus far. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "Two Bay Area restaurants make World’s 50 Best Restaurants runners-up list," 18 June 2019 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

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

17 Sep 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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