ab·​sen·​tee | \ˌab-sən-ˈtē \

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

In 2016, more than 40 percent of Americans voted early, absentee or by mail. Laurie Kellman, The Seattle Times, "Understanding the vote: New AP survey debuts Nov. 6," 5 Nov. 2018 Weinstein announced his decision for a full manual recount of absentee, provisional and election day ballots today. Kate Magill, Howard County Times, "Howard council incumbent seeks recount after two-vote loss," 9 July 2018 One lesson is that Florida needs to tighten up on its absentee and provisional ballot rules. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Florida’s Close Election Call," 18 Nov. 2018 Although 100 percent of precincts have reported results, election officials will have to account for absentee and provisional ballots in a process that could last awhile. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "Josh Harder is in a dead heat in his congressional race to become the only venture capitalist in the House of Representatives," 7 Nov. 2018 The Harford elections office had 323 absentee and provisional ballots on the table for Friday’s count. David Anderson, The Aegis, "McComas, Wagner win tight Harford primary races after final ballot canvass," 6 July 2018 Alexander did not have the exact numbers of absentee or provisional votes for District 1 as of Tuesday night. Jess Nocera, Laurel Leader, "Former county councilman is coming home, back to his District 1 seat," 27 June 2018 In the 2016 primary, more than 5 million California residents, or nearly 60 percent of the electorate, voted absentee. Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY, "California's primary results could be delayed by crowded contests, absentee ballots," 5 June 2018 With a few absentee and provisional ballots still out, his lead is a few hundred votes out of more than 200,000 cast in the congressional district formerly held by Republican Tim Murphy. Chris Potter, Philly.com, "GOP officials claim voting irregularities in special Pa. election," 14 Mar. 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

8 Dec 2018

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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 \

Kids Definition of absentee

: a person who is not present


ab·​sen·​tee | \ˌab-sən-ˈtē \

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

Comments on absentee

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a nest or breeding place

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