miss·​ing | \ˈmi-siŋ \

Definition of missing 

: absent also : lost missing in action

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for missing


gone, lost, mislaid, misplaced


owned, possessed, retained

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of missing in a Sentence

The new director has provided the missing ingredient that was needed for the show's success. the missing socks turned up in the dog's special hiding place

Recent Examples on the Web

Rosenda Strong, a 31-year-old mother of four, went missing last month. Lauren Frohne, The Seattle Times, "Family of missing indigenous woman demands answers in Wapato," 28 Nov. 2018 And despite Trump’s nefarious suggestion that machines went missing, none of them have. Aaron Rupar, Vox, "Every sentence of Trump’s tweet accusing Democrats of “collusion” with Russia is a lie," 15 Nov. 2018 Lizbeth Ortega’s youngest daughter, Liliana, stopped talking when Zumiko went missing. Juan Montes, WSJ, "‘It’s a Crisis of Civilization in Mexico.’ 250,000 Dead. 37,400 Missing.," 14 Nov. 2018 The climbers went missing after a Boy Scout troop from Seattle went hiking at the 10,781-foot volcano on Sunday. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "4 climbers, including 2 Boy Scouts, found alive after going missing while hiking Mount Baker in Washington," 2 Oct. 2018 The Orlando Sentinel reported that Rickey Wheeler, a 17-year-old teen from Orlando who has been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and requires medication, went missing on Friday, September 21, with only a water bottle. Sarah Mearhoff, Teen Vogue, "A Bloodhound Found Florida Teen Rickey Wheeler, Who Was Missing for 4 Days," 27 Sep. 2018 And beyond missing school, girls in the UK are also reportedly putting their health at risk, using menstrual products for longer than they are supposed to. Maride Espada, Teen Vogue, "Period Taboo Around the World," 28 May 2018 After the boys went missing, there was alarm they might never be found in the labyrinthine cave complex, amid a frantic search effort that drew cave divers from around the world. George Styllis, latimes.com, "From mission impossible to mission accomplished: Thailand rejoices as last boys rescued from cave," 11 July 2018 Rescuers make their way down at the entrance to a cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach went missing, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand, Monday, July 2, 2018. Washington Post, "Divers with extra supplies advance in Thai cave passageway," 2 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'missing.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of missing

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about missing

Statistics for missing

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for missing

The first known use of missing was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for missing



English Language Learners Definition of missing

: unable to be found : not in a usual or expected place

: needed or expected but not included


miss·​ing | \ˈmi-siŋ \

Kids Definition of missing

1 : absent sense 1 Who is missing?

2 : lost sense 2 a missing book

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on missing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for missing

Spanish Central: Translation of missing

Nglish: Translation of missing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of missing for Arabic Speakers

Comments on missing

What made you want to look up missing? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!