- 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withdrawn, musing, daydreaming, dreamy, forgetful, distracted.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 absentminded
He was, therefore, absentminded, to a degree that made no end of gossip.Eben Holden
How did absentminded beggar's concluding testimonial conclude?Ulysses
But how will you bear an absentminded man who, if he happens to see you, will kill you?The Man Who Was Thursday
G. K. Chesterton
This too he seemed to give profound yet (if such a thing may be) absentminded attention.The Story of Louie
It was with an absentminded nod that he acquiesced in the man's announcement that he might arrange about the boat for him.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
- 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
Word Origin and History for absentminded
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper