AB'SENCE, n. L. absens, from absum, abesse, to be away; ab and sum.
1. A state of being at a distance in place, or not in company. It is used to denote any distance indefinitely, either in the same town, or country, or in a foreign country; and primarily supposes a prior presence. "Speak well of one in his absence."
2. Want; destitution; implying no previous presence. "In the absence of conventional law."
3. In law, non-appearance; a not being in court to answer.
4. Heedlessness; inattention to things present. Absence of mind is the attention of the mind to a subject which does not occupy the rest of the company, and which draws the mind from things or objects which are present, to others distant or foreign.