Synonyms & Antonyms of absentminded

1 lost in thought and unaware of one's surroundings or actions
  • the grieving woman was so absentminded that she left her key in the lock after opening the door

Synonyms for absentminded

Words Related to absentminded

Near Antonyms for absentminded

Antonyms for absentminded

2 inclined to forget what one has learned or to do what one should
  • an absentminded aunt who some years sends me two birthday checks

Synonyms for absentminded

Words Related to absentminded

Near Antonyms for absentminded

Antonyms for absentminded

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Frequently Asked Questions About absentminded

How is the word absentminded distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of absentminded are absent, abstracted, distracted, and preoccupied. While all these words mean "inattentive to what claims or demands consideration," 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

Where would absent be a reasonable alternative to absentminded?

The words absent and absentminded are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, 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 can abstracted be used instead of absentminded?

While in some cases nearly identical to absentminded, 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 could distracted be used to replace absentminded?

The meanings of distracted and absentminded largely overlap; however, distracted may suggest an inability to concentrate caused by worry, sorrow, or anxiety.

was too distracted by grief to continue working

In what contexts can preoccupied take the place of absentminded?

While the synonyms preoccupied and absentminded are close in meaning, 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

Learn More About absentminded

Time Traveler for absentminded

Time Traveler

The first known use of absentminded was in 1824

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Thesaurus Entries Near absentminded

absenting oneself



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Cite this Entry

“Absentminded.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on absentminded

Nglish: Translation of absentminded for Spanish Speakers


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