Absent Ab"sent, a. [F., fr. absens, absentis, p. pr. of abesse to be away from; ab + esse to be. Cf. Sooth.] 1. Being away from a place; withdrawn from a place; not present. ``Expecting absent friends.' --Shak. 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. Syn: Absent, Abstracted. Usage: 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.