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[ab-suh nt-lee] /ˈæb sənt li/
in an absent-minded manner; inattentively.
Origin of absently
First recorded in 1870-75; absent + -ly Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for absently
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "No, we 'ain't been so fur's the post-office," answered Mirandy, absently.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • "I suppose we'd better go down to lunch," Mrs. Adams said, absently.

    Alice Adams Booth Tarkington
  • "I suppose so," Russell said, absently; then he leaned forward.

    Alice Adams Booth Tarkington
  • He was sitting at the table when I entered, and looked at me absently.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
  • One look about and he passed his hand over his forehead, absently.

  • An instant he hesitated; then absently, slowly, the door opened and closed.

  • Calhoun told her absently, as if he were thinking of something else.

    Pariah Planet Murray Leinster
  • Calhoun absently filled Murgatroyd's tiny cup and handed it to him.

    Pariah Planet Murray Leinster
  • "Pretty rough on him, I should say," he commented, absently.

    The Portygee Joseph Crosby Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for absently


in an absent-minded or preoccupied manner; inattentively
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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