Did you know?

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

absence

 - definition
 
 
 
Close

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.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
noun British English pronunciation: absence /ˈæbs(ə)ns/ 
Word Forms
Close
singularabsence
pluralabsences

Related dictionary definitions

  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] a period of time when someone is not where they should be or where they usually are

    His frequent and prolonged absences were making his wife suspicious.

    absence from:

    He returns to the England team after a long absence from international football.

    in someone's absence (=while someone is not there):

    Mark will be in charge in my absence.

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

    a complete absence of humour

    in the absence of something:

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

Word of the Day

disciple

someone who admires a famous person such as a political or religious leader and is influenced by...

Blog

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