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1. The state of being away.
2. The time during which one is away.
3. Lack; want: an absence of leadership.
4. The state of being absent-minded; inattentiveness: absence of mind.


1. the state of being away
2. the time during which a person or thing is away
3. the fact of being without something; lack
[C14: via Old French from Latin absentia, from absēns a being away]


(ˈæb səns)

1. the state of being away or not being present.
2. a period of being away: an absence of several weeks.
3. failure to attend or appear when expected.
4. lack; deficiency: the absence of proof.
5. inattentiveness; preoccupation; absent-mindedness: absence of mind.
[1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French < Latin]



eighty-six Nothing left, no more, no, nix; from American restaurant argot for being sold out of a certain dish. The term was apparently chosen because it rhymes with nix, slang for nothing or no. Although this expression is still most commonly heard among restaurant workers, it has recently gained popularity in general slang.

missing link The absent or unknown integral step in a progression; the lacking, unifying component of a series. This expression probably originated as an allusion to a chain that is minus a vital part. The phrase is most often applied to the unknown connection in the anthropological progression of man’s theoretical evolution from the lower primates.

Albertus [Magnus] made the first attempt to bridge the gap between man and the rest of the animal world by means of a kind of “missing link” in the shape of the pygmy and the ape. (R. and D. Morris, Men and Apes, 1966)

neither hide nor hair Nothing at all, not a trace. Hide here of course means ‘skin.’ The expression in hide and hair, in the language since the 14th century but now rarely heard, has an opposite meaning—‘wholly, entirely.’ The oldest citation for neither hide nor hair shows that more than a century ago it was used much the same as it most frequently is today: in a negative construction following see. However, contemporary usage usually limits its application to humans or animals—literal possessors of hide and hair.

I haven’t seen hide nor hair of the piece ever since. (Josiah G. Holland, The Bay-path, 1857)

scarce as hen’s teeth Very scarce, nonexistent; rarely occurring. This Americanism dating from the mid-1800s is a superlative of ‘scarce,’ since a hen has no teeth.

North of Mason and Dixon’s line, colored county officials are scarce as hen’s teeth. (Congressional Record, October 2, 1893)

This expression and the variant rare as hen’s teeth are still in use.

Stoppages are as rare as hen’s teeth. (Times, June 12, 1969)

sweet Fanny Adams Nothing; usually used in reference to the failure of a potentially promising enterprise or occasion. Fanny Adams was a woman who was brutally murdered in 1810. Her hacked and mutilated body was thrown into a river. Because of the gruesomeness of the crime and the dour humor of the British Navy, Fanny Adams became the nickname for canned mutton served to the sailors. The implication is clear. Over the years, Fanny Adams became sweet Fanny Adams, or Sweet F. A., with the abbreviated form serving as a popular euphemism for an obvious obscenity.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.absence - the state of being absentabsence - the state of being absent; "he was surprised by the absence of any explanation"
nonoccurrence - absence by virtue of not occurring
awayness - the state of being elsewhere than in particular place
deficiency, lack, want - the state of needing something that is absent or unavailable; "there is a serious lack of insight into the problem"; "water is the critical deficiency in desert regions"; "for want of a nail the shoe was lost"
presence - the state of being present; current existence; "he tested for the presence of radon"
2.absence - failure to be presentabsence - failure to be present    
cut - an unexcused absence from class; "he was punished for taking too many cuts in his math class"
default - loss due to not showing up; "he lost the game by default"
nonattendance - the failure to attend
absenteeism - habitual absence from work
presence - the act of being present
3.absence - the time interval during which something or somebody is away; "he visited during my absence"
interval, time interval - a definite length of time marked off by two instants
4.absence - the occurrence of an abrupt, transient loss or impairment of consciousness (which is not subsequently remembered), sometimes with light twitching, fluttering eyelids, etc.absence - the occurrence of an abrupt, transient loss or impairment of consciousness (which is not subsequently remembered), sometimes with light twitching, fluttering eyelids, etc.; common in petit mal epilepsy
ictus, raptus, seizure - a sudden occurrence (or recurrence) of a disease; "he suffered an epileptic seizure"
epilepsia minor, petit mal, petit mal epilepsy - epilepsy characterized by paroxysmal attacks of brief clouding of consciousness (and possibly other abnormalities); "she has been suffering from petit mal since childhood"
complex absence - an absence seizure accompanied by other abnormalities (atonia or automatisms or vasomotor changes)
pure absence, simple absence - an absence seizure without other complications; followed by 3-per-sec brainwave spikes
subclinical absence - a transient impairment of cortical function demonstrable only by 3-per-second brainwave spikes


1. time off, leave, break, vacation, recess, truancy, absenteeism, nonappearance, nonattendance A bundle of letters had arrived for me in my absence.
2. lack, deficiency, deprivation, omission, scarcity, want, need, shortage, dearth, privation, unavailability, nonexistence In the absence of a will, the courts decide who the guardian is.
"Absence makes the heart grow fonder,"
"Isle of Beauty, Fare thee well!" [Thomas Haynes Bayly Isle of Beauty]
"Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it inflames the great" [Comte de Bussy-Rabutin Histoire amoureuse des Gaules]
"Among the defects of the Bill, which were numerous, one provision was conspicuous by its presence and another by its absence" [Lord John Russell Speech to his constituents, 1859]


1. Failure to be present:
2. The condition of lacking a needed or usual amount:
غِيَابإخْتِفَاء، غِيَاب
การขาด ช่วงเวลาที่ไม่อยู่
sự vắng mặt


[ˈæbsəns] N [of person] → ausencia f; [of thing] → falta f
in the absence of [+ person] → en ausencia de; [+ thing] → a falta de
after an absence of three monthstras una ausencia de tres meses
to be sentenced in one's absenceser condenado en ausencia
absence of minddistracción f, despiste m
absence makes the heart grow fonderla ausencia es al amor lo que el viento al aire, que apaga el pequeño y aviva el grande


[ˈæbsəns] n [person, object, information] → absence f
in sb's absence → en l'absence de qn
in the absence of sth → faute de qch
absence makes the heart grow fonder → l'absence renforce les liens


Abwesenheit f; (esp from school, work etc) → Fehlen nt; in the absence of the chairmanin Abwesenheit des Vorsitzenden; sentenced in one’s absencein Abwesenheit verurteilt; it’s not fair to criticize him in his absencees ist nicht fair, ihn in seiner Abwesenheit zu kritisieren; her many absences on businessihre häufige Abwesenheit aus geschäftlichen Gründen; absence makes the heart grow fonder (Prov) → die Liebe wächst mit der Entfernung (Prov)
(= lack)Fehlen nt; absence of enthusiasmMangel man Enthusiasmus; in the absence of further evidence/qualified staffin Ermangelung weiterer Beweise/von Fachkräften
(= person absent) he counted the absenceser stellte die Zahl der Abwesenden fest; how many absences do we have today?wie viele fehlen heute or sind heute nicht da or anwesend?
absence of mindGeistesabwesenheit f


[ˈæbsns] n (of person) → assenza; (of thing) → mancanza
in the absence of (person) → in assenza di (thing) → in mancanza di
in my absence → in mia assenza
in the absence of any evidence → non essendoci prove
absence of mind → distrazione f


(ˈӕbsənt) adjective
not present. Johnny was absent from school with a cold.
(əbˈsent) verb
to keep (oneself) away. He absented himself from the meeting.
ˈabsence noun
1. the condition of not being present. His absence was noticed.
2. a time during which a person etc is not present. After an absence of five years he returned home.
ˌabsenˈtee noun
a person who is not present, especially frequently (eg at work, school etc).
ˌabsenˈteeism noun
being often absent from work etc without good reason. Absenteeism is a problem in some industries.
ˌabsent-ˈminded adjective
not noticing what is going on around one because one is thinking deeply. an absent-minded professor.
ˌabsentˈmindedly adverb
ˌabsent-ˈmindedness noun


غِيَاب nepřítomnost fravær Abwesenheit απουσία ausencia poissaolo absence odsutnost assenza 不在 부재 afwezigheid fravær nieobecność ausência отсутствие frånvaro การขาด ช่วงเวลาที่ไม่อยู่ yokluk sự vắng mặt 缺席


n. ausencia, falta; pérdida momentánea del conocimiento;
___ of menstruation___ de menstruación.


n ausencia, falta
References in classic literature ?
I wish you to obtain for me, from Monsieur Dessessart, leave of absence for fifteen days.
This morning's post has brought me a letter from my own maid, whom I left at Baliol Cottage, with instructions to write to me if anything extraordinary took place in my absence.
I went abroad, resolved--if change and absence could help me--to forget her.
On reading that letter (she always read her husband's letters) Natasha herself suggested that he should go to Petersburg, though she would feel his absence very acutely.
At breakfast this morning I rashly congratulated myself (in my wife's hearing) on finding that a much smaller collection than usual of letters and cards had accumulated in my absence.
By the absence of refraction in the rays of the planets occulted by her we conclude that she is absolutely devoid of an atmosphere.
During his absence we faithfully complied with his Desire and after the most mature Deliberation, at length agreed that the best thing we could do was to leave the House; of which we every moment expected the officers of Justice to take possession.
During his absence we shall be able to chuse our own society, and to have true enjoyment.
Disdain hath power to kill, and patience dies Slain by suspicion, be it false or true; And deadly is the force of jealousy; Long absence makes of life a dreary void; No hope of happiness can give repose To him that ever fears to be forgot; And death, inevitable, waits in hall.
I saw who had known all the danger and borne all the trouble in my absence the moment I looked at her.
Pontellier's absence, and she begged her to take all thought and responsibility of the larder upon her own shoulders.
But, even at this height, it is wise to show no lights, lest she might learn something of our presence or absence.