Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

absence - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun     absence pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] a period of time when someone is not where they should be or where they usually are
    in someone’s absence (=while someone is not there):

    Mark will be in charge in my absence.

    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      a period of time when someone is not at work or at school when they should be

      We are concerned about your child’s frequent absences.

  2. 2
    [singular/uncountable] the fact of something not existing or not being present
    absence of:

    a complete absence of humor

    in the absence of something:

    In the absence of any contrary agreement, the firm accepts full liability.



to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play