1. Being away from a place; withdrawn from a place; not present. Expecting absent friends.
2. Not existing; lacking; as, the part was rudimental or absent.
3. Inattentive to what is passing; absent-minded; preoccupied; as, an absent air. What is commonly called an absent man is commonly either a very weak or a very affected man. (Chesterfield)
Synonym: absent, Abstracted.
These words both imply a want of attention to surrounding objects. We speak of a man as absent when his thoughts wander unconsciously from present scenes or topics of discourse; we speak of him as abstracted when his mind (usually for a brief period) is drawn off from present things by some weighty matter for reflection. Absence of mind is usually the result of loose habits of thought; abstraction commonly arises either from engrossing interests and cares, or from unfortunate habits of association.
Origin: f, fr. Absens, absentis, p. Pr. Of abesse to be away from; ab – esse to be. Cf. Sooth.