- so lost in thought that one does not realize what one is doing, what is happening, etc.; preoccupied to the extent of being unaware of one's immediate surroundings.
Origin of absent-minded
First recorded in 1850–55
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
withdrawn, musing, daydreaming, dreamy, forgetful, distracted.
Absent-minded, abstracted, oblivious all mean inattentive to immediate surroundings. Absent-minded suggests an unintentional wandering of the mind from the present: an absent-minded committee member. Abstracted implies that the mind has been drawn away from the immediate present by reflection upon some engrossing subject: an abstracted air. Oblivious implies absorption in some thought that causes one to be completely forgetful of or unaware of one's surroundings: oblivious of danger.
attentive, alert, heedful, observant.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for absent-mindedly
He had his right hand to his face and was absent-mindedly rubbing the scar on his left cheekbone.Gordie Howe Hockey’s Greatest War Horse
May 31, 2014
She was listening to him absent-mindedly and looking about her, her fan laid to her lips.A Hero of Our Time
M. Y. Lermontov
"Oh, she has declared her intention," murmured Lingard, absent-mindedly.The Rescue
Absent-mindedly he tried a pinch of the snuff, inhaling it into his nostrils.The Ivory Snuff Box
Janet had dropped it absent-mindedly in her lap; she now took it up again.The Wrong Woman
Charles D. Stewart
He had absent-mindedly strayed into the wrong continent and the wrong creed.A Miscellany of Men
G. K. Chesterton
- preoccupied; forgetful; inattentive
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012