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[ab-suh nt-lee] /ˈæb sənt li/
in an absent-minded manner; inattentively.
Origin of absently
1870-75; absent + -ly Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for absently
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Yes,” replied Ibarra absently, “we shortened the surname; it was too long.

    The Social Cancer Jos Rizal
  • He sat there and thought about this, absently smoothing the strange fur on his knee.

    Cat and Mouse Ralph Williams
  • Edith said absently: "Someone will always be around to put him to bed."

  • "Yes—I don't know—I'll think about it," said Florrie absently.

  • absently her hand closed over the chestnuts, and the thought in her eyes was far away.

    The Grey Cloak Harold MacGrath
  • And absently he stroked the dripping cat, while a drop of wet ran off his nose.

    The Island Pharisees John Galsworthy
  • I was all eagerness, and presently he was absently preluding at my piano.

    Melomaniacs James Huneker
  • “I think they are hawthorne bushes,” Mrs. Payton answered, absently.

    Lucile Triumphant Elizabeth M. Duffield
  • absently, without motive, she extracted it and glanced at the superscription.

    The Tigress Anne Warner
British Dictionary definitions for absently


in an absent-minded or preoccupied manner; inattentively
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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