or awol, A.W.O.L., a.w.o.l.

[ pronounced as initials or ey-wawl, ey-wol ]

adjective, adverb
  1. away from military duties without permission, but without the intention of deserting.

  1. a soldier or other military person who is absent from duty without leave.

Idioms about AWOL

  1. go AWOL,

    • to depart from military duty without leave.

    • to absent oneself without explanation.

Origin of AWOL

First recorded in 1915–20; A(bsent) W(ith)o(ut) L(eave)
  • Also absent without leave .

Words Nearby AWOL Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use AWOL in a sentence

  • Pauly D takes one for the team and entertains the grenade to The Situation's girl of the moment…until he goes AWOL.

    9 Great Jersey Shore Moments | Sujay Kumar, The Daily Beast Video | July 28, 2010 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • They were easy enough to trace, and the kids gave themselves away by all eight of them being AWOL from their one o'clock classes.

    A Mixture of Genius | Arnold Castle

British Dictionary definitions for AWOL



/ (ˈeɪwɒl) /

  1. military absent without leave; absent from one's post or duty without official permission but without intending to desert

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with AWOL


see absent without leave.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.