or awol, A.W.O.L., a.w.o.l.
[pronounced as initials or ey-wawl, ey-wol]
away from military duties without permission, but without the intention of deserting.
a soldier or other military person who is absent from duty without leave.
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defector, escapee, criminal, lawbreaker, flight, rescue, disappearance, freedom, departure, liberation, desertion, breakout, withdrawal, outbreak, cut, vacancy, hooky, absenteeism, truancy, nonattendance
- to depart from military duty without leave.
- to absent oneself without explanation.
Origin of AWOL
1915–20; A(bsent) W(ith)o(ut) L(eave)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
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
also a.w.o.l., military initialism for absent without leave. The -o- seems to be there mostly so the initialism can be pronounced as a word. In U.S. military use at least from World War II, popular use by 1960.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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.