American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


AB'SENCE, noun [Latin absens, from absum, abesse, to be away; ab and sum.]

1. A state of being at a distance in place, or not in company. It is used to denote any distance indefinitely, either in the same town, or country, or in a foreign country; and primarily supposes a prior presence. 'Speak well of one in his absence '

2. Want; destitution; implying no previous presence. 'In the absence of conventional law.'

3. In law, non-appearance; a not being in court to answer.

4. Heedlessness; inattention to things present. absence of mind is the attention of the mind to a subject which does not occupy the rest of the company, and which draws the mind from things or objects which are present, to others distant or foreign.