miss·​ing | \ ˈmi-siŋ How to pronounce missing (audio) \

Definition of missing

: absent also : lost missing in action

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Synonyms & Antonyms for missing


gone, lost, mislaid, misplaced


owned, possessed, retained

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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

Curtis Ray Watson, 44, who is serving a 15-year prison sentence for aggravated kidnapping, went missing Wednesday from his work detail at the West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Henning. Doha Madani, NBC News, "Escaped Tennessee inmate found after four-day manhunt," 11 Aug. 2019 Manhunt over: An escaped Tennessee inmate is captured A Tennessee inmate went missing Wednesday after a corrections worker at the prison was found dead. Editors, USA TODAY, "Here's the biggest news you missed this weekend," 11 Aug. 2019 When the weapons go missing, Ethan Hunt and the IMF team must race against time to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. Los Angeles Times, "Here are the feature and TV films airing the week of Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019," 11 Aug. 2019 Investigators have questioned 20 people and said a forensic team was analyzing fingerprints found in the cottage where the girl went missing. Washington Post, "Search for London teen missing in Malaysia enters 2nd week," 11 Aug. 2019 In 2014, Sandy and Casey Parsons were convicted of fraud for keeping federal adoption assistance money after Erica went missing. Harriet Sokmensuer, PEOPLE.com, "Teen N.C. Girl Was Murdered by Mom, Who Forced Her to Eat Dog Food and Didn't Let Her Use Bathroom," 2 Aug. 2019 The body of man who went missing after his tube capsized on the Deschutes River last weekend was recovered Thursday night in Wasco County, officials said. oregonlive.com, "Family finds body of man who capsized during Deschutes River float," 26 July 2019 Over 70 years after Brandenburg went missing, his remains are returning home scheduled to arrive around 3 p.m. July 25 at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Sheila Vilvens, Cincinnati.com, "Remains of Ohio man who died in WWII return home Thursday, public funeral set for Saturday," 24 July 2019 Authorities conducted an extensive search for Polk, who went missing this month, but did not find her. Pete Grieve, SFChronicle.com, "Judge orders suspect in Oakland murder case to be mentally evaluated," 23 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of missing

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for missing

Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for missing

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

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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 How to pronounce missing (audio) \

Kids Definition of missing

1 : absent sense 1 Who is missing?
2 : lost sense 2 a missing book

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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

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a wrong name or inappropriate designation

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