Definition of missing in US English:



  • 1(of a thing) not able to be found because it is not in its expected place.

    ‘a quantity of cash has gone missing’
    • ‘He said they could be used to find lost objects when held over a map although he had nor yet been able to locate his own missing bicycle.’
    • ‘The missing antique furniture includes a Georgian card table and a Georgian tea table.’
    • ‘And, of course, I'm not expecting to see the missing item tomorrow either.’
    • ‘In most cases our people will be able to help you to locate the missing article.’
    • ‘Before the second son had time to replace the pearl, the king discovered it missing.’
    • ‘Okay… we're about to re-import the archives to try to replace the missing ones.’
    • ‘She had no injuries, but the green car is still missing.’
    • ‘We all went about our business, and, when finished, I noticed the van was missing.’
    • ‘But several of these vital bits of kit have gone missing and local pharmacists are keen to track them down.’
    • ‘The heavy metal gates at the entrances to most houses of any size were locked, the occupants' cars missing from their usual places on the pavements outside.’
    • ‘The missing bags have since been recovered and were sent to Birmingham along with three trailer-loads of clothes sorted at the Cheetham Hill depot.’
    • ‘As soon as she realized who it was, her expression was that of a little girl who just found a missing doll she lost but hasn't been able to forget.’
    • ‘He stated that his van was missing and it was found, smashed into another vehicle, up the street.’
    • ‘Many items thought to be missing had been stored in mosques for safe keeping.’
    • ‘They say it had gone missing four years ago… when King Joseph's son disappeared.’
    • ‘Then when I found your car missing and the house the way it was I got scared for you.’
    • ‘My mother left the kitchen and opened the door to the garage where my dad's car was missing.’
    • ‘The professor said the missing equipment included material which was irreplaceable.’
    • ‘It's interesting that all the stuff that went missing was stuff I was sure I'd put in the bag, but which I never found again.’
    • ‘Precisely when the plaque went missing is not clear.’
    lost, mislaid, misplaced, nowhere to be found, absent, not present, gone, gone astray, unaccounted for
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Not present or included when expected or supposed to be.
      ‘you can fill in the missing details later’
      ‘passion was an element that had been missing from her life for too long’
      • ‘Daniel was born with one of his heart valves missing and had to undergo emergency surgery twice before the age of five.’
      • ‘First the car: although there have been few causes for complaint since the new Mini came on the market, the one thing missing until now was a diesel engine.’
      • ‘Is there anything missing from our website that you'd like to see?’
      • ‘But when I awoke early next morning, the city seemed quiet, almost leaden, and the daily traffic jam was missing.’
      • ‘Nothing is going to prevent cable freeze-up if a rubber boot meant to keep water out of a parking brake cable is missing.’
      • ‘The voice of youth is notably missing from most discussions of uniforms.’
      • ‘James had once been an excellent swimmer and, despite his missing limb, was still able to paddle about quite proficiently.’
      • ‘I'm expecting Jason to rupture a blood vessel over the missing apostrophe there.’
      • ‘When it was examined it was found to have a hole by the wheel stud and a section of the brake disk missing.’
      • ‘The engine and generator are missing but when they are replaced they will use diesel and not petrol as fuel.’
      • ‘The boiler and engine were missing, presumably salvaged many years ago.’
      • ‘They culled stem cells from the marrow and mixed them with a harmless virus in which a gene that makes the missing protein had been inserted.’
      • ‘If you rise a little at the end of the companionway you can see that the roof of the engine room is missing, giving you an even better view.’
      • ‘This charisma factor is definitely missing from the rest of the cast.’
      • ‘The one thing that is obviously missing from the wreck is any sign of a propshaft or propshaft tunnel.’
      absent from, not present in, not to be found in, lacking in, wanting from
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 (of a person) absent from a place, especially home, and of unknown whereabouts.
      ‘she alerted police that her son was missing’
      • ‘Yet, in this passage, Mary speaks to Jesus of their anxiety when they discovered him missing.’
      • ‘Experts tell us that with missing persons cases, the more that time elapses, the colder the case becomes.’
      • ‘But is this story worth all that extra space that other missing people do not get?’
      • ‘There followed ‘one of the largest and most public missing persons inquiries that has ever taken place in this country’.’
      • ‘But what about the other part of this story, the missing intern?’
      • ‘Sixteen unsolved murders and four missing women are enough.’
      • ‘But detectives said it was too early to speculate on the man's identity and were also checking all other missing people reports.’
      • ‘They handle the majority of these kinds of cases that we get with missing persons and so forth.’
      • ‘The dogs carry out routine work at football matches and on patrol as well as being called to emergencies to help find missing people or runaway criminals.’
      • ‘The team are not only involved in rescues in upland areas, but much time is also spent on searching for missing persons in lowland and coastal areas.’
      • ‘The media can certainly help, and they can help find missing people.’
      • ‘It is not like the usual missing person, where we do not know what has happened.’
      • ‘For the pain will be there as long as we have missing people who are unaccounted for.’
      • ‘Previously officers have practiced skills used to search for missing persons.’
      • ‘Police have appealed for information about two teenage girls who went missing last weekend.’
      • ‘The three-year-old bearded collie uses his keen sense of smell to sniff out missing people.’
      • ‘There is no suggestion of criminal activity and it is very much a routine missing persons inquiry.’
      • ‘There is still a search out for any information that can lead to the whereabouts of the missing student.’
      • ‘The children's mother had reported them missing to police on Wednesday.’
      • ‘They have a very different attitude towards missing people.’
    3. 1.3 (of a person) not yet traced or confirmed as alive, but not known to be dead, after an accident or during wartime.
      ‘three local men were missing following a swimming accident’
      • ‘It was like someone being missing in action, or at sea: you don't know when it's over.’
      • ‘The Justice Department asked us to create a special national missing persons Web site for Katrina victims.’
      • ‘Ten people listed as missing were also feared dead, police said.’
      • ‘In India, the official death toll has reached 10,744 with 5,669 still reported missing and feared dead.’
      • ‘Among the haul are foreign identity cards that are handed to embassies tracing missing nationals.’
      • ‘This was reported on quite favourably, and there was even an extensive air search which failed to find any of the fifteen missing people.’
      • ‘He was taken to the morgue at Denpasar General Hospital, where he searched the dead to locate missing soldiers.’
      • ‘The attack sparked massive unrest in the capital, leaving at least five people dead and 17 others missing.’
      • ‘The number of Australians confirmed dead or missing stands at 103, Australian officials say.’
      • ‘This year alone, fighting in the province is believed to have left 1,307 people dead and 377 others missing.’
      • ‘The death toll is set to top 29,000 with most of the 4,500 missing people likely to be declared dead.’
      • ‘Three days of torrential rains in Shaaxi province left nine people dead and six others missing.’