missing in action


Definition of missing in action

: missing and unable to be confirmed as captured or killed following military action a soldier who was declared missing in action The 1st Cavalry Division casualties in Operation PERSHING totalled 852 troopers killed in action, 22 missing in action, 286 killed in noncombat circumstances …— Shelby L. Stanton often used figuratively for someone or something notably or unexpectedly missing, absent, or inactive Most readers expect an encyclopedia to give the judgment of scholars—a group largely missing in action here.— Julia Vitullo-MartinThe movie itself has just resurfaced after having been missing in action for some time.Video ReviewBut lots of hair had turned gray (my own included); lots more was missing in action.— Joseph Epstein

First Known Use of missing in action

1808, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for missing in action

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The first known use of missing in action was in 1808

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Dictionary Entries Near missing in action


missing in action

missing link

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Cite this Entry

“Missing in action.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/missing%20in%20action. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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