[ ab-suhnt-lee ]

  1. in an absent-minded manner; inattentively.

Origin of absently

First recorded in 1870–75; absent + -ly

Words Nearby absently

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

How to use absently in a sentence

  • Oh,” said Kenney absently, “I was wondering what happened to that.

  • absently his hands wandered through the pockets, and found his purse and the money in an outside pocket.

    The Homesteader | Oscar Micheaux
  • She led Isabel over to Mrs. Kaye, who sat alone on a small sofa, sipping her coffee and absently puffing at a cigarette.

    Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
  • For another minute or two he sat there without speaking, absently flipping pebbles over the bank.

    Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • "Certainly—certainly," murmured the Assistant Commissioner, glancing up absently.

    Dope | Sax Rohmer
  • He was a fat little man who sat habitually with a hand on either knee, which he clawed absently both in conversation and thought.

    Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton

British Dictionary definitions for absently


/ (ˈæbsəntlɪ) /

  1. in an absent-minded or preoccupied manner; inattentively

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