absence
Pronunciation
  • (GA)
    • IPA: /ˈæb.sn̩s/, /ˈæb.sn̩ts/
    • qual in the medical sense IPA: /ˈæbsɒns/, /æbˈsɒns/

Noun

absence (uncountable)

  1. A state of being away or withdrawn from a place or from companionship; the period of being away. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
    Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Philippians 2:12 ↗:
      Not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence.
  2. Failure to be present where one is expected, wanted, or needed; nonattendance; deficiency. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
  3. Lack; deficiency; nonexistence. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
    He had an absence of enthusiasm.
    • In the absence of conventional law.
  4. Inattention to things present; abstraction (of mind). [First attested in the early 18th century.]
    absence of mind
    • Reflecting on the little absences and distractions of mankind.
  5. (medical) Temporary loss or disruption of consciousness, with sudden onset and recovery, and common in epilepsy. [First attested in the mid 20th century.]
  6. (fencing) Lack of contact between blades.
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