- 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 for on Thesaurus.com
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for absent-minded
A rush of water spills from above, but not from the bottle of an absent-minded commuter or tipsy traveler.Leaky Ceilings, Catcalls, and Uncaged Pythons: 4 Hours on NYC’s Worst Subway
August 8, 2014
The boy genius Geithner turned into an absent-minded professor when he filled in his tax returns.Obama's Strange Obsession
February 9, 2009
I thought of all the absent-minded things he might do, but I never thought of this, no, I never!Quaint Courtships
“Of course,” repeated the great man, with a sort of absent-minded loftiness.
Winnie maintained that he was much less “absent-minded” now.
"I will think about it," replied my mother in an absent-minded way.My Double Life
His face was downcast and he put the dishes on the table in an absent-minded way.The Widow O'Callaghan's Boys
- 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