[ adjective, preposition ab-suhnt; verb ab-sent, ab-suhnt ]
See synonyms for: absentabsentedabsentingabsents on Thesaurus.com

  1. not in a certain place at a given time; away, missing (opposed to present): absent from class.

  2. lacking; nonexistent: Revenge is absent from his mind.

  1. not attentive; preoccupied; absent-minded: an absent look on his face.

verb (used with object)
  1. to take or keep (oneself) away: to absent oneself from a meeting.

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

Origin of absent

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin absent-, stem of absēns “being away,” present participle of abesse “to be away,” from ab- ab- + esse “to be”

Other words for absent

Opposites for absent

Other words from absent

  • ab·sen·ta·tion [ab-suhn-tey-shuhn], /ˌæb sənˈteɪ ʃən/, noun
  • ab·sent·er, noun
  • ab·sent·ness, noun
  • non·ab·sen·ta·tion, noun

Words Nearby absent

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use absent in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for absent


  1. away or not present

  2. lacking; missing

  1. inattentive; absent-minded

  1. (tr) to remove (oneself) or keep away

Origin of absent

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

Derived forms of absent

  • absenter, noun

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