1. not in a certain place at a given time; away, missing (opposed to present): absent from class.
  2. lacking; nonexistent: Revenge is absent from his mind.
  3. not attentive; preoccupied; absent-minded: an absent look on his face.

verb (used with object)

  1. to take or keep (oneself) away: to absent oneself from a meeting.


  1. in the absence of; without: Absent some catastrophe, stock-market prices should soon improve.

adjective (ˈæbsənt)

  1. away or not present
  2. lacking; missing
  3. inattentive; absent-minded

verb (æbˈsɛnt)

  1. (tr) to remove (oneself) or keep away

late 14c., from Middle French absent (Old French ausent), from Latin absentem (nominative absens), present participle of abesse “be away from, be absent” (see absence). Related: Absently; absentness.


“to keep away” (from), c.1400, from Middle French absenter, from Late Latin absentare “cause to be away,” from Latin absentem (see absent (adj.)). Related: Absented; absenting.


“in the absence of,” 1944, principally from U.S. legal use, from absent (v.).

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