Definition of absent in English:



Pronunciation /ˈabs(ə)nt/
  • 1Not present in a place, at an occasion, or as part of something.

    ‘most pupils were absent from school at least once’
    ‘absent colleagues’
    ‘wings are absent in several species of crane flies’
    • ‘Remarkably, however, nectar is absent from those species that produce pseudopollen.’
    • ‘Shouldn't we be working on getting in touch with this technology so that we can keep track of children and young people who are absent from school?’
    • ‘The new scheme will give head teachers the power to issue on-the-spot fines if a child is absent from school without permission.’
    • ‘But there is also a feeling of wit and hope, conspicuously absent from the previous show, which suggests a new inner positivity.’
    • ‘The director of strategy and development was to have been disciplined over the matter but was absent from work through sickness and later resigned.’
    • ‘The other nurse, who continues to suffer ill health arising from the near assault, has been absent from work on a number of occasions.’
    • ‘While there are 50 or more volunteers already, more are needed to replace those who may have to be absent from time to time.’
    • ‘Noticeably absent from the Havana conference were trade union representatives from the USA and Canada.’
    • ‘It is hoped the latest clampdown will be particularly effective in tackling pupils who travel out of their own districts when absent from school.’
    • ‘And yet, health is virtually absent from public debates and democratic politics in India.’
    • ‘This livestock disease is endemic in countries unable to afford intensive agriculture, yet has been absent from Europe for three decades.’
    • ‘Here is a government made up largely of men who have spent huge periods of time almost completely absent from their children's lives.’
    • ‘These powerful processes are absent from the European Commission.’
    • ‘Hotels, casinos, holiday-makers and rivercraft are conspicuously absent from Monet's work.’
    • ‘But, unfortunately, insight of this sort is absent from this book.’
    • ‘Kids being kids, they asked if they could have chips, but the ubiquitous fried potato was absent from this particular hostelry.’
    • ‘They have the natural goodness that is absent from processed cereals, and they can lower cholesterol and reduce constipation.’
    • ‘You don't have to agree with any of their viewpoints to realise that it is unhealthy for democracy to have such voices absent from the House of Commons.’
    • ‘The meeting will continue today because six of the committee's members were absent from Tuesday's session.’
    • ‘Part of the new arrangements will see people being paid minimum contractual hours when absent from work and not the average hours they currently receive.’
    away, off, out, not present, non-attending, truant
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  • 2(of an expression or manner) showing that someone is not paying attention to what is being said or done.

    ‘she looked up with an absent smile’
    • ‘She just looked at him, curious as to why his absent expression was now missing, replaced by a foolish something.’
    • ‘It was a nice face, with squinty eyes, graying brown hair, wrinkles, and a little, absent smile.’
    • ‘Ryan felt her finger trace around his hand in an absent manner and wanted nothing more than to squeeze her and never let go.’
    • ‘At others her expression and demeanour almost seem absent, detached, as if beyond the music.’
    • ‘Jasmine jolted to a halt and stared aghast into the unholy creature's absent eyes.’
    • ‘There's a few absent smiles and drumming of fingers on shopping trolleys, we're all gearing up for the big chorus.’
    • ‘Janine walks by with an absent smile on her face and a clump of the man's hair in her fist.’
    • ‘A little Dutch clock in the bar struck one while Lady Audley lingered in this irresolute, absent manner.’
    • ‘She raised her head in an absent manner, and eyed the leering man with clouded eyes.’
    • ‘Ms. Crew reached for the door handle, her face frozen in an absent smile.’
    • ‘Verity gave her a small and rather absent smile as she hunted around the kitchen, searching the space near the kettle and the shelves by the window.’
    • ‘His face wore an absent expression, as of deep thought, and I became afraid that if his eyes did light upon me he would nevertheless not see me.’
    • ‘His hurt expression and absent apology stirred little guilt in her hardened bosom.’
    • ‘His absent smile reminded the two thirsty coppers that they were on duty.’
    distracted, preoccupied, inattentive, vague, absorbed, abstracted, unheeding, oblivious, distrait, absent-minded
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Pronunciation /abˈsɛnt/
absent oneself
  • Stay or go away.

    ‘halfway through the meal, he absented himself from the table’
    • ‘He called on the Government to act without delay on the Tribunals and he appealed to the big business interests of the country to stick by their country and not to choose to legally absent themselves from the Irish tax jurisdiction.’
    • ‘He absented himself from council meetings, got into debt, and sold off his wife's inheritance.’
    • ‘Judges frequently absented themselves from court cases to avoid sentencing members of armed opposition groups or remanding them in police custody.’
    • ‘If your family celebrates Christmas, then absenting yourself for the day to go and read a book is simply not on.’
    • ‘She said that her son was known as a bright child and had never absented himself from school.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, since volunteering means absenting oneself from employment, not everyone can afford the experience.’
    • ‘He said: ‘I shall be absenting myself from work without authority to stand outside the Mansion House.’’
    • ‘Of those who absented themselves, he said that many in their second year of secondary school felt disaffected by the education system.’
    • ‘But none of the other parties dared absent themselves.’
    • ‘The fact that his wife worked on the fields meant that Bandia could absent himself every once in a while to conduct his commercial activities.’
    • ‘They all said that their children were quite worried by their absenting themselves for such a long period.’
    • ‘None of his predecessors - not even the autocratic Sir Robert Walpole - ever absented themselves so much from the Commons chamber.’
    • ‘Your mother was taking her mother shopping today, and I should have gone to help out with mother-management, but I absented myself.’
    • ‘What was at issue was the fact that the youngsters ought to have been in school, and had not been given any permission to absent themselves.’
    • ‘It wasn't just that he helped teach me the finer points of putting words on paper, it was also his amazing facility for absenting himself from the office without being noticed by our superiors that endeared him to me.’
    • ‘It's been seven and a half weeks and I haven't absented myself once.’
    • ‘Your coverage of the decision by Labour councillors to absent themselves from much of the last local council meeting failed to stress the constitutional implications of this blunder.’
    • ‘My wife was not at that meeting, and she specifically absented herself from that meeting, so as to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.’
    • ‘Over the past few generations, economic migration has resulted in men absenting themselves from family life.’
    • ‘There are those of his nine children from whose lives he absented himself for several years.’
    stay away, keep away, be absent, withdraw, retire, take one's leave, remove oneself, slip away, take oneself off, abscond
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North American
  • Without.

    ‘absent a willingness to negotiate, you can't have collective bargaining’
    • ‘At present, that war is being won by mere force of arms, absent any moral justification.’
    • ‘Today the study of medicinal mushrooms continues, albeit absent the deities.’
    • ‘Where does it say that the president has its authority to do this absent a congressional authorization?’
    • ‘So there are some people who have some visions about it still being the same old place absent the people who live and used to live here.’
    • ‘But, absent a change in the course of this election, he's on his way to another four years.’
    • ‘Indeed, absent mitigating factors, such as age and health, I would have imposed a lengthier term in prison.’
    • ‘However, absent a working alternative, there is no substitute for civil justice.’
    • ‘But that day isn't going to be now, or any time in the next ten years, absent a major breakthrough.’
    • ‘This suggests that Japan's stagnation will continue absent a drastic shock to the system.’
    • ‘Yet, this is indeed possible absent a willingness to read critically and teach students to do likewise.’
    • ‘The Justices are perfectly entitled, should they think fit, to convict absent such evidence.’
    • ‘Neither has any base in the city or standing anywhere else absent their connection to him.’
    • ‘Yet absent a constitutional amendment, that is precisely what we face.’
    • ‘In the meantime, I am inclined to accept Fund's denials absent contrary evidence.’
    • ‘Japan's price level could well have fallen even more absent the monetary ease.’
    • ‘I mean, absent the facial disfigurement, you would say he looks pretty good.’
    • ‘Again, absent the use of a gun, knife or poison, jurors rarely accepted arguments for murderous intent.’
    • ‘It may seem silly, but absent an instruction sheet, how was he to know?’
    • ‘But absent that explanation, it is difficult to justify the actions that were taken.’
    • ‘And absent that, the public can make its own choice to buy it or pass on it.’


Middle English: via Old French from Latin absens, absent- ‘being absent’, present participle of abesse, from ab- ‘from, away’ + esse ‘to be’.