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

Other Words from absentee

absentee adjective

Examples of absentee in a Sentence

There were 10 sick absentees that day.
Recent Examples on the Web Bohren’s ruling also barred people from returning any absentee ballots other than their own. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 15 Jan. 2022 Bohren's ruling also prevents voters from having someone else return their absentee ballots for them. Patrick Marley, USA TODAY, 14 Jan. 2022 The president also whacked Georgia for setting standards for the drop boxes where voters can deposit absentee ballots in lieu of mailing them. Karl Rove, WSJ, 12 Jan. 2022 Separately, the state legislature is expected to vote again on a constitutional amendment on no-excuse absentee ballots in order to place the amendment on the ballot for the general public in November 2024. Christopher Keating, courant.com, 11 Jan. 2022 The state, which Biden won by about 154,000 votes, saw record turnout in the last presidential election, with some 3.2 million voters casting absentee ballots. Fredreka Schouten, CNN, 9 Jan. 2022 A few minutes ago in Chatham County, our observers watched an unidentifiable woman mix over 50 ballots into the stack of uncounted absentee ballots. David Wickert, ajc, 1 Jan. 2022 The new law also ends the use of unstaffed drop boxes to collect absentee ballots and gives partisan poll watchers more power to observe election activities. Peggy O’hare, San Antonio Express-News, 31 Dec. 2021 Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Democrats across the country embraced absentee voting in record numbers. David Wickert, ajc, 1 Jan. 2022

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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Time Traveler for absentee

Time Traveler

The first known use of absentee was in 1537

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Dictionary Entries Near absentee



absentee ballot

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Last Updated

18 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Absentee.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/absentee. Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on absentee

Nglish: Translation of absentee for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of absentee for Arabic Speakers


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