ab·​sen·​tee | \ ˌab-sən-ˈtē How to pronounce absentee (audio) \

Definition of absentee

: one that is absent: such as
a : a proprietor that lives away from his or her estate or business
b : one missing from work or school

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Other Words from absentee

absentee adjective

Examples of absentee in a Sentence

There were 10 sick absentees that day.

Recent Examples on the Web

The case was brought by the ACLU of Pennsylvania and nine voters who attempted to vote absentee in the November 2018 election but whose ballots did not arrive in time to be counted. Jonathan Lai, https://www.inquirer.com, "Are Pa.’s absentee-ballot deadlines unconstitutional? What would be the fix? Judges consider whether a lawsuit should move forward.," 5 June 2019 Chronic absentees aren’t only students who skip school. Liz Bowie, baltimoresun.com, "Nearly 1 in 5 Maryland students is chronically absent. At some schools, the rate is more than 75 percent.," 6 June 2018 Those statewide totals have only grown as more absentee, early, and Election Day provisional votes were counted, and could change more during the recounts. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Florida’s high-stakes recounts for governor and Senate, explained," 15 Nov. 2018 Raised by a mother with substance abuse issues, with an absentee father who was imprisoned, my husband was a product of his environment. Shanon Lee, Good Housekeeping, "My Husband Cheating Was the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me," 22 June 2015 Our efforts, combined with those of countless other activists, paid off: In the 2018 midterms, early and absentee voting by 18- to 29-year-olds surged some 700 percent in Tennessee, 500 percent in Texas, and 200 percent in Florida. Allie Holloway, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sarah Chadwick, Laura Dern, & Diane Kruger Fight for Gun Violence Prevention," 20 Feb. 2019 State and county officials say changing the process just two weeks before the Nov. 6 midterm elections and with absentee voting already underway would be disruptive. Kate Brumback, The Seattle Times, "Lawsuits: Georgia absentee ballots improperly rejected," 23 Oct. 2018 Republican provisional ballots were rejected for reasons such as not being registered to vote, voting on the wrong party’s ballot, already voting by absentee or early ballot, or not signing their provisional ballot application. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, "Results in Democratic Baltimore County executive race not expected until at least Friday," 5 July 2018 The Democratic nomination for the Montgomery county executive is coming down to absentee and provisional ballots, with two men — a wealthy businessman and a longtime progressive politician — locked in a close battle. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump’s mockery of the #MeToo movement underscores the GOP’s problem with women in 2018," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'absentee.' 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 absentee

1537, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for absentee

borrowed from Anglo-French abscenté "person holding property in Ireland but illegally resident in England," from past participle of absenter "to be absent," verbal derivative of absent absent entry 1

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Statistics for absentee

Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for absentee

The first known use of absentee was in 1537

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More Definitions for absentee



English Language Learners Definition of absentee

: a person who is not present in a usual or expected place : a person who is absent


ab·​sen·​tee | \ ˌab-sən-ˈtē How to pronounce absentee (audio) \

Kids Definition of absentee

: a person who is not present


ab·​sen·​tee | \ ˌab-sən-ˈtē How to pronounce absentee (audio) \

Legal Definition of absentee

: one that is absent: as
a : a proprietor who lives away from his or her business or estate
b : a potential party to a legal action who is not present or does not have a representative present at a proceeding

Other Words from absentee

absentee adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on absentee

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with absentee

Spanish Central: Translation of absentee

Nglish: Translation of absentee for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of absentee for Arabic Speakers

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