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

On Saturday afternoon, as anger and doubt began to swirl around the program in the wake of a 30-27 loss at Brigham Young, Harrell was entirely absent from postgame proceedings. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, "Clay Helton defends USC’s play calling and Graham Harrell," 15 Sep. 2019 Teammates David Pastrnak, Jake DeBrusk, and Danton Heinen, absent from Wednesday’s session, joined the on-ice contingent Friday . . . Matt Porter, BostonGlobe.com, "Zdeno Chara says he may not be ready for Bruins opener," 6 Sep. 2019 Game 256 three straight seasons in 2011, ’12 and ’13, the favorite division of TV network executives everywhere has been absent from the big game. Mitch Goldich, SI.com, "Which Week 17 Game Will Be Flexed to Sunday Night Football This Season?," 3 Sep. 2019 The elements of flippancy and irony that are popular currency among today’s referential artists are completely absent from her enterprise. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "Normani and the Work of the Pop Princess," 1 Sep. 2019 Johnson was one of two wideouts absent from early portions of practice last Wednesday along with freshman Lance Wilhoite, who has been limited with an apparent hamstring injury. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, al, "Oregon WR Juwan Johnson returns to practice, ’100 percent’ healthy," 26 Aug. 2019 The Republican billionaire has been frequently criticized by members of both major parties for being absent from the statehouse. USA TODAY, "‘Stranger’ tourists, Phish and the plague, kinkajou attack: News from around our 50 states," 22 Aug. 2019 With 22 Republicans in Wasilla and absent from the state Capitol, the Alaska Legislature fails to override Dunleavy’s operating budget vetoes for lack of support. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Timeline: The road to this year’s budget," 20 Aug. 2019 Barnes heard six witnesses who testified that the longest Hayat was absent from his family’s ancestral village of Behboodi while visiting Pakistan with family members between 2003 and 2005 was one week. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Judge overturns 2006 terror conviction of California man," 30 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

He had been noticeably absent in his role on Alabama football radio broadcasts this season with the explanation that doctors had not yet cleared him for a return. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "Alabama broadcaster Chris Stewart back in hospital after post-surgery setback," 11 Sep. 2019 The Democratic presidential candidates form a chorus line and display a unity that has been notably absent from the recent debates. Peter Spiliakos, National Review, "The Simpsons and the Cowardice of Tribal Comedy," 28 Aug. 2019 Elliott, the star running back for the Cowboys (10-6 in 2018), has been absent from training camp in a contract dispute. oregonlive.com, "Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams in NFL preseason: Time, score, TV channel, how to watch live stream online," 17 Aug. 2019 Also indicted were the four LLCs that owned the warehouses, which face the same charges, absent the money laundering counts. Los Angeles Times, "Chinese billionaire used L.A. as base for audacious aluminum scam that cost U.S. $1.8 billion, feds say," 1 Aug. 2019 As Days fans will recall, the eponymous, fan-favorite couple (Billy Flynn and Kate Mansi) have been absent from Salem for several months, having left to reconnect in the City of Love. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, "See Chad and Abby in Paris in new Days of Our Lives digital series clip," 29 July 2019 One type of complexion makeup has been conspicuously absent from the Blur collection — and the Milk Makeup line as a whole — however: powder. Marci Robin, Allure, "Milk Makeup's Brand-New Blur + Set Matte Loose Setting Powder Is Unbelievably Light," 1 Aug. 2018 The presence of junior Dominic Benson, SDSU’s speediest receiver, could add a deep threat that was absent against Weber State when Benson sat out while recovering from an ankle injury. San Diego Union-Tribune, "5 Things to Watch: Aztecs at UCLA," 6 Sep. 2019 The movement that was absent against Curaçao was there in abundance Wednesday. Brian Straus, SI.com, "After Handling Jamaica, Weather Delay, USMNT Gets Gold Cup Final vs. Mexico," 4 July 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

10 Oct 2019

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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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