[ab-suh nt-lee]

Origin of absently

First recorded in 1870–75; absent + -ly
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for absently

Contemporary Examples of absently

Historical Examples of absently

  • "No, we 'ain't been so fur's the post-office," answered Mirandy, absently.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • "I suppose we'd better go down to lunch," Mrs. Adams said, absently.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • "I suppose so," Russell said, absently; then he leaned forward.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • He was sitting at the table when I entered, and looked at me absently.

    The First Violin

    Jessie Fothergill

  • One look about and he passed his hand over his forehead, absently.

British Dictionary definitions for absently


  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