I. noun — [ mass noun] 1. the state of being away from a place or person • the letter had arrived during his absence
• I supervised the rehearsal in the absence of the director.
2. [ count noun] — an occasion or period of being away from a place or person • repeated absences from school.
3. ( absence of) — the non-existence or lack of • she found his total absence of facial expression disconcerting.
II. phrases 1. absence makes the heart grow fonder
‹proverb› you feel more affection for those you love when parted from them.
2. absence of mind failure to concentrate on or remember what one is doing. • his reply conveyed his absence of mind.
– origin late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin absentia, from absens, absent- (see absent).