[ mis-ing ]
/ ˈmɪs ɪŋ /


absent, not found, or lost: a missing person.
lacking: Something is missing in this relationship.

Nearby words

  1. missile gap,
  2. missile, guided,
  3. missileer,
  4. missileman,
  5. missilery,
  6. missing fundamental,
  7. missing link,
  8. missing mass,
  9. missiology,
  10. mission


    go missing, to disappear; become lost: My keys have gone missing again.

Origin of missing

First recorded in 1520–30; miss1 + -ing2

Origin of miss

before 900; Middle English missen, Old English missan; cognate with Old Frisian missa, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Old High German missen, Old Norse missa to fail to hit or reach

Related formsmiss·a·ble, adjectiveun·miss·a·ble, adjectiveun·missed, adjective

Can be confusedmidst missed mist

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for missing

British Dictionary definitions for missing


/ (ˈmɪsɪŋ) /


not present; absent or lost
not able to be traced and not known to be deadnine men were missing after the attack
go missing to become lost or disappear


/ (mɪs) /



a failure to reach, hit, meet, find, etc
give something a miss informal to avoid (something)give the lecture a miss; give the pudding a miss
See also miss out

Derived Formsmissable, adjective

Word Origin for miss

Old English missan (meaning: to fail to hit); related to Old High German missan, Old Norse missa


/ (mɪs) /


informal an unmarried woman or girl, esp a schoolgirl

Word Origin for miss

C17: shortened form of mistress


/ (mɪs) /


a title of an unmarried woman or girl, usually used before the surname or sometimes alone in direct address

Word Origin for Miss

C17: shortened from mistress

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

Word Origin and History for missing
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with missing


In addition to the idioms beginning with miss

  • miss a beat
  • miss by a mile
  • miss fire
  • miss is as good as a mile, a
  • miss much
  • miss out on
  • miss the boat
  • miss the point

also see:

  • heart misses a beat
  • hit or miss
  • near miss
  • not miss a trick
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.