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.
- go AWOL,
- 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. 2018
- military absent without leave; absent from one's post or duty without official permission but without intending to desert
Word Origin and History for go awol
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
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Idioms and Phrases with go 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.