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[troo-uh nt] /ˈtru ənt/
a student who stays away from school without permission.
a person who shirks or neglects his or her duty.
absent from school without permission.
neglectful of duty or responsibility; idle.
of, relating to, or characteristic of a truant.
verb (used without object)
to be truant.
Origin of truant
1250-1300; Middle English < Old French: vagrant, beggar < Celtic; compare Welsh truan wretched, wretch
Related forms
truantly, adverb
nontruant, noun, adjective
untruant, adjective
2. idler, shirker, layabout, loafer, malingerer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for truant
  • Kids playing hooky and the truant officer gets his comeuppance in the end.
  • The first tour of the season to discover and report truant school-boys was made yesterday by the truancy agents.
  • By then, the days were long gone when truant officers had prowled the streets and visited homes to pick up hooky players.
  • Few students played truant or arrived late, and they waited for permission to sit down.
  • Several have been sent by the courts for getting in trouble or being truant.
  • The date is drawing near, and there are no more extra days to be won by playing truant.
  • They are not street mongers who are truant from their probation meetings.
  • He beat his mutinous pupils with his violin bow, and they retaliated by playing truant.
  • All were frequently truant from school and committed dozens of muggings and burglaries as teenagers.
  • Rios did, with the help of a teacher at the school from which he had long been truant.
British Dictionary definitions for truant


a person who is absent without leave, esp from school
being or relating to a truant
(intransitive) to play truant
Derived Forms
truancy, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French: vagabond, probably of Celtic origin; compare Welsh truan miserable, Old Irish trōg wretched
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 truant

early 13c., "beggar, vagabond," from Old French truant "beggar, rogue" (12c.), from Gaulish *trougant- (cf. Breton *truan, later truant "vagabond," Welsh truan "wretch," Gaelic truaghan "wretched"). Cf. Spanish truhan "buffoon," from same source. Meaning "one who wanders from an appointed place" is first attested mid-15c. The adjective is recorded from 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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