Thesaurus

absent

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of absent

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 not at a certain place
  • three students were absent because of the flu

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2 not present or in evidence
  • the city's usual stir of activity was conspicuously absent due to the report of an escaped lion from the zoo

Synonyms for absent

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3 lost in thought and unaware of one's surroundings or actions
  • seemed absent when I told him you were coming because he nodded but didn't say anything

Synonyms for absent

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Antonyms for absent

Synonyms of absent (Entry 2 of 2)

not having
  • absent a significant source of investment funds, the fledgling company continues to struggle

Synonyms for absent

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Frequently Asked Questions About absent

How is the word absent distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of absent are absentminded, abstracted, distracted, and preoccupied. While all these words mean "inattentive to what claims or demands consideration," absent stresses inability to fix the mind on present concerns due more to mental wandering than to concentration on other matters.

an absent stare

When might absentminded be a better fit than absent?

Although the words absentminded and absent have much in common, 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

When can abstracted be used instead of absent?

The words abstracted and absent are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, 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

When would distracted be a good substitute for absent?

In some situations, the words distracted and absent are roughly equivalent. However, distracted may suggest an inability to concentrate caused by worry, sorrow, or anxiety.

was too distracted by grief to continue working

When is preoccupied a more appropriate choice than absent?

While in some cases nearly identical to absent, 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

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Time Traveler for absent

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Absent.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/absent. Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on absent

Dictionary: Definition of absent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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