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[ab-suh n-tee] /ˌæb sənˈti/
a person who is absent, especially from work or school.
a person who absents himself or herself, as a landowner who does not live on certain property owned or a voter who is permitted to cast a ballot by mail.
Origin of absentee
First recorded in 1530-40; absent + -ee Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for absentees
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mr. Barlee: One more cheer for the absentees--Mr. Forrest's companions.

  • absentees and loiterers were hurried to their boxes by horse-patrols.

  • The General is becoming excited on the subject of absentees.

    The Citizen-Soldier John Beatty
  • What have you seen in Bangkok, Miss Blanche, that the absentees have not seen?

    Four Young Explorers Oliver Optic
  • We had to ask no end of questions about Siam because the lecture was postponed for the absentees.

    Four Young Explorers Oliver Optic
  • The absentees were safe and well, and would arrive by Thursday.

    Up The Baltic Oliver Optic
  • “Then you have heard from the absentees, Mr. Lowington,” said Paul Kendall.

    Up The Baltic Oliver Optic
  • I thought it strange that this man should be amongst the absentees.

    The Crack of Doom Robert Cromie
British Dictionary definitions for absentees


  1. a person who is absent
  2. (as modifier): an absentee voter
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
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Word Origin and History for absentees



1530s, from absent (v.) + -ee.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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