or ab·sent·mind·ed

  1. 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
Related formsab·sent-mind·ed·ly, adverbab·sent-mind·ed·ness, noun

Synonyms for absent-minded

Synonym study

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.

Antonyms for absent-minded

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

Examples from the Web for absentmindedly

Historical Examples of absentmindedly

  • "Maybe—maybe they did it kind of absentmindedly," Pee-wee said.

    Pee-wee Harris

    Percy Keese Fitzhugh

  • You have moved down there for us, and came in here now absentmindedly?

    Tommy Tregennis

    Mary Elizabeth Phillips

  • M. Raindal followed her, absentmindedly playing with his gloves.

    Two banks of the Seine

    Fernand Vandrem

  • Then, begged for one lump, she absentmindedly dropped in three, while talking with Starr.

  • He made his way around the house at the back, absentmindedly feeling for his coat pocket and his pipe.

    The Lilac Girl

    Ralph Henry Barbour

British Dictionary definitions for absentmindedly


  1. preoccupied; forgetful; inattentive
Derived Formsabsent-mindedly, adverbabsent-mindedness, noun
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