Definition of absence in English:

absence

noun

  • 1[mass noun] The state of being away from a place or person.

    ‘the letter had arrived during his absence’
    ‘I supervised the rehearsal in the absence of the director’
    • ‘That night she climbed into bed just as conscious of Will's absence now as she had been the night after he died.’
    • ‘It was only when undertakers called at the hospital to collect the baby that his absence was discovered.’
    • ‘He explains his absence from school by saying he is on a part-time timetable.’
    • ‘Almost half were with their parents, who made some excuses for their absence.’
    • ‘Why is it that we can only appreciate what we have when we experience its absence?’
    • ‘In my father's absence he likes to visit my mother, most of the time for no reason.’
    • ‘The jury was sent home until Monday after being told legal submissions will be made in their absence today.’
    • ‘Yet in a play that explores spiritual emptiness, the sense of absence is strangely appropriate.’
    • ‘Whether this was discussed or not in his absence, was unclear till late in the evening.’
    • ‘Downsizing produced an increased risk of sickness absence, in line with earlier findings.’
    • ‘Some more of the team had arrived during our absence, and looked at the pictures of the party.’
    • ‘However, in her absence, I'll just have to make do with thinking about it myself.’
    • ‘So as the programme drew to a close his absence was felt more than ever before.’
    • ‘He later admitted in a press conference yesterday that his absence was intentional.’
    • ‘Some of them had not been seen for months, if not years, and one in ten staff was unavailable because of absence.’
    • ‘He explained his absence by telling all concerned he was going into hospital for three weeks for an operation.’
    • ‘She had been in New York for the past few weeks and knew little of the scheming that was going on in her absence.’
    • ‘On Wednesday night, there was a clear demonstration of the effect that absence has on colleagues.’
    • ‘It alerts the employee's manager and supplies statistics about absence to the council.’
    • ‘Since then, the earl had seen people dying in the great plague, the clergy conspicuous by its absence.’
    non-attendance, non-appearance, absenteeism
    failing, in default of, lacking, wanting, notwithstanding, without
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[count noun]An occasion or period of being away from a place or person.
      ‘repeated absences from school’
      • ‘If a child has ten unauthorised absences during a six-week period then a parent is sent a fixed penalty notice warning.’
      • ‘The only thing that ever gets him down is prolonged absences from three-year-old daughter Zoe, who still lives in Holland.’
      • ‘All school absences should be explained in writing to your child's teacher.’
      • ‘He added that his school had already greatly reduced the numbers of unauthorised absences to well below the national average.’
      • ‘You should keep records of absences and introduce a trigger mechanism that alerts you to look into regular absenteeism and the reasons for it.’
      • ‘The innovative scheme could be used to send revision questions and exam timetables, or chase-up homework and absences.’
      • ‘He has undoubtedly made up for that absence and has drawn warm praise from his manager and admiration from the fans.’
      • ‘The following year I implemented this regime and the absences reduced to two days in a whole year.’
      • ‘Rex continues to preach once each quarter and happily stands in for any absences.’
      • ‘Headteacher Gillian James said the protest was good-natured but warned that future absences would be punished.’
      • ‘In 2001 teachers in Doncaster and London refused to cover for absences any longer than three days.’
      • ‘The under-17 age squad was badly affected by holidays and absences but still turned in some great performances.’
      • ‘All council staff know that the majority of absences are left uncovered.’
      • ‘It revealed more than 60 per cent of firms experienced absences last year due to stress at work.’
      • ‘Even temporary absences from them seemed to suggest, in her darkest moments, the immutable separation of death.’
      • ‘With people keen to enjoy the heat, the number of unauthorised absences from work were reported to be high.’
      • ‘She had completed freshman year, and only had to make up a couple of courses over the summer to makeup her absences.’
      • ‘However, she came under increasing criticism for her frequent absences while running her other company in Santiago de Chile.’
      • ‘Wouldn't the employer want to suffer one day of not having an employee than having the potential of multiple absences in one day?’
      • ‘Anderson's absences caused by knee problems down through the years have not proved the handicaps they could have been.’
    2. 1.2The non-existence or lack of.
      ‘she found his total absence of facial expression disconcerting’
      • ‘In the absence of any treatable cause, the best that can be offered is control of the symptoms.’
      • ‘In the absence of firm evidence and reliable facts, it is that line which tends to be followed.’
      • ‘In the absence of named candidates or any real campaign about policy, what is an election?’
      • ‘Yes, the almost total absence of rural policing is a major problem in urgent need of a solution.’
      • ‘Courts also have the option of hearing the case in the absence of the defendant, he warned.’
      • ‘In the absence of pictorial reality we reach instinctively for clues to some sort of story.’
      • ‘In the absence of a decent World Cup anthem, we invited you to pen an official Guardian song.’
      • ‘How could you have possibly not noticed the absence of such a fundamental requirement?’
      • ‘The absence of a smoke detector in the room has prompted an immediate investigation.’
      • ‘Mr Wilkins said the absence of a cinema in the town is a commonly raised issue.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin absentia, from absens, absent- (see absent).

Pronunciation:

absence

/ˈabs(ə)ns/