Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.
Related to absents: Absenta


to keep (oneself) away: She absents herself from all meetings.
Not to be confused with:
absence – the state of being away; the time during which one is away; lack: absence of evidence
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree


1. Not present; missing: absent friends; absent parents.
2. Not existent; lacking: a country in which morality is absent.
3. Exhibiting or feeling inattentiveness: an absent nod.
tr.v. (ăb-sĕnt′) ab·sent·ed, ab·sent·ing, ab·sents
To keep (oneself) away: They absented themselves from the debate.
Without: "Absent a legislative fix, this is an invitation for years of litigation" (Brian E. O'Neill).

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin absēns, absent-, present participle of abesse, to be away : ab-, away; see ab-1 + esse, to be; see es- in Indo-European roots.]

ab′sent·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Mr Allworthy had been absent a full quarter of a year in London, on some very particular business, though I know not what it was; but judge of its importance by its having detained him so long from home, whence he had not been absent a month at a time during the space of many years.
It happened sometimes when Edna went to see Mademoiselle Reisz that the little musician was absent, giving a lesson or making some small necessary household purchase.
Lorry; and through his absent manner of clasping his head and drearily wandering away into his own room when they got up-stairs, Mr.