[ troo-uhnt ]
See synonyms for truant on
  1. a student who stays away from school without permission.

  2. a person who shirks or neglects a duty.

  1. absent from school without permission.

  2. neglectful of duty or responsibility; idle.

  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of a person who neglects a duty, responsibility, or required attendance.

verb (used without object)
  1. to be neglectful of duty, responsibility, or attendence.

Origin of truant

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English from Old French: “vagrant, beggar” from Celtic; compare Welsh truan “wretched, wretch”

Other words for truant

Other words from truant

  • tru·ant·ly, adverb
  • non·tru·ant, noun, adjective
  • un·tru·ant, adjective

Words Nearby truant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use truant in a sentence

  • It is only to transact some higher business that even Apollo dare play the truant from Admetus.

    The Pocket R.L.S. | Robert Louis Stevenson
  • As a boy at the Grammar School of his native town, it is to be feared he loved to play truant.

    East Anglia | J. Ewing Ritchie
  • Haply her truant tresses mock Some coronal of shapelier block, To wit, the bounding billy-cock.

  • At that the truant driver appeared, coming at a trot from down the street.

    From Place to Place | Irvin S. Cobb

British Dictionary definitions for truant


/ (ˈtruːənt) /

  1. a person who is absent without leave, esp from school

  1. being or relating to a truant

  1. (intr) to play truant

Origin of truant

C13: from Old French: vagabond, probably of Celtic origin; compare Welsh truan miserable, Old Irish trōg wretched

Derived forms of truant

  • truancy, noun

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