American English

Definition of absence noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable, countable] the fact of someone being away from a place where they are usually expected to be; the occasion or period of time when someone is away The decision was made in my absence (= while I was not there). We did not receive any news during his long absence. absence from… absence from work repeated absences from school see also leave
  2. 2[uncountable] the fact of someone or something not existing or not being available; a lack of something The case was dismissed in the absence of any definite proof. the absence of any women on the board of directors opposite presence
  3. Idioms
    absence makes the heart grow fonder (saying)
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    used to say that when you are away from someone that you love, you love them even more
    conspicuous by your absence
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    not present in a situation or place, when it is obvious that you should be there When it came to cleaning up afterward, Anne was conspicuous by her absence.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: absence