"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[ab-suh ns] /ˈæb səns/
state of being away or not being present:
I acted as supervisor in his absence. Your absence was noted on the records.
period of being away:
an absence of several weeks.
failure to attend or appear when expected.
lack; deficiency:
the absence of proof.
inattentiveness; preoccupation; absent-mindedness:
absence of mind.
Origin of absence
1350-1400; Middle English < Middle French < Latin absentia. See absent, -ia
1. presence. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for absence
  • The presence or absence of a true sleep state among these creatures remains to be investigated scientifically.
  • And the absence of broader press coverage points to the usual fate of such stories.
  • The absence of a rating mattered little, as the last thing the city needed to do was to go out and borrow money from strangers.
  • This absence of evidence matters.
  • They've barely noticed my absence.
  • The first indication that something is amiss is the absence of lighting, and then a few broken windows.
  • Reasonable doubt is not the same as the absence of doubt.
  • Olson took a leave of absence right before the start of last season for undisclosed personal and medical reasons.
  • Especially galling to Harlemites has been the absence of a chain bookstore.
  • The presence or absence of computing devices in the home has class implications.
British Dictionary definitions for absence


the state of being away
the time during which a person or thing is away
the fact of being without something; lack
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Latin absentia, from absēns a being away
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for absence

late 14c., from Old French absence (14c.), from Latin absentia, noun of state from absentem (nominative absens), present participle of abesse "be away from, be absent," from ab- "away" (see ab-) + esse "to be" (see essence).

Absence makes the heart grow fonder
[Thomas Haynes Bayly (1797-1839) "Isle of Beauty"]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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absence in Medicine

absence ab·sence (āb'səns)
See petit mal.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Idioms and Phrases with absence


In addition to the idiom beginning with absence also see: conspicuous by its absence
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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