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A person who is absent is not in school or not at work when he or she is expected to be there. Use the word "absent" as an adjective:

  • Cynthia was absent from school this morning.
  • Todd is always absent.
  • The school needs to find a substitute for an absent teacher.
  • She’s absent due to an illness.
  • Hector is never absent from work.

The noun form of this word is "absence."

  • Byron was fired because he had too many absences.
  • Jennifer’s absence from work was noticed by the boss.
  • Ned took a temporary leave of absence from work to spend more time with his family.
  • Students will be dropped from this course after three unexcused absences.
  • The absence of a computer in the hotel forced Kim to go to an internet cafe.

There are a few other ways to use this word.

  • Our teacher is a little absent-minded. (He forgets things or he is easily distracted.)
  • Jeremy went AWOL after getting a taste of military life. (AWOL = absent without leave; absent without permission to leave.)
  • Absent any new proposals, we’re going to go with this plan. (absent = if there aren’t any…)
  • The mess that was left in the house indicated that civility and respect were absent at the teenagers’ party.

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This page was first published on November 1, 2013.



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