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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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