[ab-suh n-tee]


a person who is absent, especially from work or school.
a person who absents himself or herself, as a landowner who does not live on certain property owned or a voter who is permitted to cast a ballot by mail.

Origin of absentee

First recorded in 1530–40; absent + -ee
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for absentee



  1. a person who is absent
  2. (as modifier)an absentee voter
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 absentee

1530s, from absent (v.) + -ee.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper