Definition of absence noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈæbsəns//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈæbsəns//
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  1. 1  [uncountable, countable] the fact of somebody being away from a place where they are usually expected to be; the occasion or period of time when somebody 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 somebody/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
  3. opposite presence
    Word Originlate Middle English: from Old French, from Latin absentia, from absens, absent- ‘being absent’, present participle of abesse, from ab- ‘from, away’ + esse ‘to be’. Extra examplesHe asked for leave of absence from his job. In the absence of stone, most houses in the area are built of wood. My father did all the cooking in my mother’s absence. Nobody had noticed her absence. When it came to clearing up after the party, Anne was conspicuous by her absence. You will not be paid for the full period of absence. Your son has had too many absences from school. a conspicuous absence of evidence I was surprised by the absence of any women on the board of directors.Idioms
    absence makes the heart grow fonder
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    (saying) used to say that when you are away from somebody 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 afterwards, Anne was conspicuous by her absence.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: absence