[ adjective, preposition ab-suhnt; verb ab-sent, ab-suhnt ]
/ adjective, preposition ˈæb sənt; verb æbˈsɛnt, ˈæb sənt /


not in a certain place at a given time; away, missing (opposed to present): absent from class.
lacking; nonexistent: Revenge is absent from his mind.
not attentive; preoccupied; absent-minded: an absent look on his face.

verb (used with object)

to take or keep (oneself) away: to absent oneself from a meeting.


in the absence of; without: Absent some catastrophe, stock-market prices should soon improve.

Origin of absent

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin absent- (stem of absēns, present participle of abesse to be away (ab- ab- + -s- be (see is) + -ent- -ent))


ab·sen·ta·tion [ab-suhn-tey-shuhn] /ˌæb sənˈteɪ ʃən/, nounab·sent·er, nounab·sent·ness, nounnon·ab·sen·ta·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for absent

British Dictionary definitions for absent


adjective (ˈæbsənt)

away or not present
lacking; missing
inattentive; absent-minded

verb (æbˈsɛnt)

(tr) to remove (oneself) or keep away

Derived forms of absent

absenter, noun

Word Origin for absent

C14: from Latin absent-, stem of absēns, present participle of abesse to be away
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