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[ab-suh n-tee] /ˌæb sənˈti/
a person who is absent, especially from work or school.
a person who absents himself or herself, as a landowner who does not live on certain property owned or a voter who is permitted to cast a ballot by mail.
Origin of absentee
1530-40; absent + -ee Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for absentee
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Twenty had changed to fifteen and fifteen to ten, but there was no news of the absentee.

    A Study In Scarlet Arthur Conan Doyle
  • absentee ownership is at the bottom of the trouble in either case.

    The Railroad Question William Larrabee
  • A prompt and vigorous effort to find the absentee is therefore a first requisite in dealing with family desertion.

    Broken Homes Joanna C. Colcord
  • The problem of absentee landlordism was exciting Ireland in these years.

    The New Nation Frederic L. Paxson
  • A year went over their heads, and yet another, but no news of the absentee.

British Dictionary definitions for absentee


  1. a person who is absent
  2. (as modifier): an absentee voter
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 absentee

1530s, from absent (v.) + -ee.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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