[adjective, preposition ab-suhnt; verb ab-sent, ab-suhnt]
not in a certain place at a given time; away, missing (opposed to present): absent from class.
lacking; nonexistent: Revenge is absent from his mind.
not attentive; preoccupied; absent-minded: an absent look on his face.
verb (used with object)
to take or keep (oneself) away: to absent oneself from a meeting.
in the absence of; without: Absent some catastrophe, stock-market prices should soon improve.
Origin of absent
1350–1400; Middle EnglishRelated formsab·sen·ta·tion [ab-suhn-tey-shuhn] /ˌæb sənˈteɪ ʃən/, nounab·sent·er, nounab·sent·ness, nounnon·ab·sen·ta·tion, noun
< Latin absent-
(stem of absēns,
present participle of abesse
to be away (ab- ab-
be (see is
) + -ent- -ent
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for absentness'
away or not present
Derived Formsabsenter, noun
(tr) to remove (oneself) or keep away
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
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Word Origin and History for absentness'
"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