- state of being away or not being present: I acted as supervisor in his absence. Your absence was noted on the records.
- period of being away: an absence of several weeks.
- failure to attend or appear when expected.
- lack; deficiency: the absence of proof.
- inattentiveness; preoccupation; absent-mindedness: absence of mind.
Origin of absence
Examples from the Web for absence
How do you celebrate when happy occasions are colored by loss and absence?Everyone at This Dinner Party Has Lost Someone
January 6, 2015
In the absence of cultural shifts, then, new reproductive technology might not matter as much for women as it would for men.Men Will Someday Have Kids Without Women
January 3, 2015
So filmmakers usually resort to a plot device to compensate for this absence.Why Can’t Movies Capture Genius?
December 14, 2014
In the absence of typical classrooms and curriculums, West Africans have opted for alternate methods of learning and education.The Radio Battle to Educate Ebola’s Kids
December 11, 2014
Courage, one recalls, is not the absence of fear but the ability to act in the face of it.The Straight Hero of Cameroon’s Gays
December 10, 2014
Milza was the first to observe that her absence was unusually protracted.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
Then came that man, he filled her heart with illusions, and took her away in my absence.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
Decidedly, Dick had been a godsend, and his absence would be a calamity.Viviette
William J. Locke
I should never have comfort but in his absence, or when I was quarreling with him.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
"I want leave of absence to-day, sir," he said, speaking hurriedly.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
- the state of being away
- the time during which a person or thing is away
- the fact of being without something; lack
Word Origin and History for absence
late 14c., from Old French absence (14c.), from Latin absentia, noun of state from absentem (nominative absens), present participle of abesse "be away from, be absent," from ab- "away" (see ab-) + esse "to be" (see essence).
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
[Thomas Haynes Bayly (1797-1839) "Isle of Beauty"]