[adjective, preposition ab-suhnt; verb ab-sent, ab-suhnt]
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  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.
  3. 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

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin absent- (stem of absēns, present participle of abesse to be away (ab- ab- + -s- be (see is) + -ent- -ent))
Related formsab·sen·ta·tion [ab-suhn-tey-shuhn] /ˌæb sənˈteɪ ʃən/, nounab·sent·er, nounab·sent·ness, nounnon·ab·sen·ta·tion, noun

Synonyms for absent

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1. out, off.

Antonyms for absent

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for absented

Contemporary Examples of absented

Historical Examples of absented

  • I avoided the house of Mr Clayton, and absented myself from his chapel.

  • He absented himself in thought, then came to life with a snap.

    Masters of Space

    Edward Elmer Smith

  • Madeleine absented herself, and Bertha soon stole to her side.

    Fairy Fingers

    Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie

  • He absented himself from church; he met the young ladies no more.

    White Lies

    Charles Reade

  • Feeling his guilt, he had absented himself from the house since his return from the ride.


    William Wells Brown

British Dictionary definitions for absented


adjective (ˈæbsənt)
  1. away or not present
  2. lacking; missing
  3. inattentive; absent-minded
verb (æbˈsɛnt)
  1. (tr) to remove (oneself) or keep away
Derived Formsabsenter, 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

Word Origin and History for absented



"to keep away" (from), c.1400, from Middle French absenter, from Late Latin absentare "cause to be away," from Latin absentem (see absent (adj.)). Related: Absented; absenting.



"in the absence of," 1944, principally from U.S. legal use, from absent (v.).



late 14c., from Middle French absent (Old French ausent), from Latin absentem (nominative absens), present participle of abesse "be away from, be absent" (see absence). Related: Absently; absentness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper