1

absent

adjective ab·sent \ ˈab-sənt \
Updated on: 16 Nov 2017

Definition of absent

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

absently

adverb
    • He replied absently to her question.

Examples of absent in a Sentence

  1. an absent father who is not home most of the time

  2. a gene that occurs in mammals but that is absent in birds

  3. a landscape in which vegetation is almost entirely absent

  4. He made an absent reply to her question as he continued to watch the TV.

Recent Examples of absent from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of absent

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 1is

absent Synonyms

Synonyms
away, missing, out
Antonyms
here, in, present
Related Words
AWOL, truant; departed, gone, retired; abroad, vacationing
Near Antonyms
accompanying, attending, participating

Synonym Discussion of absent

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

2

absent

verb ab·sent \ ab-ˈsent , ˈab-ˌ \

Definition of absent

transitive verb
:to keep (oneself) away
  • He absented himself from the meeting.

Recent Examples of absent from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of absent

Middle English absenten, borrowed from Anglo-French absenter, borrowed from Late Latin absentāre, verbal derivative of Latin absent-, absens 1absent


3

absent

preposition ab·sent \ ˈab-sənt \

Definition of absent

US, formal
:in the absence of (something) :without
  • Absent any objections, the plan will proceed.

Examples of absent in a Sentence

  1. Absent any objections, the plan will proceed.

  2. Absent such an agreement we can go no further.

Origin and Etymology of absent

derivative of 1absent

absent Synonyms

Synonyms
without, minus, sans, wanting


ABSENT Defined for Kids

absent

adjective ab·sent \ ˈab-sənt \

Definition of absent for Students

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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