A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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A'bsence. n.s. [See Absent.]

  1. The state of being absent, opposed to presence.

                    Sir, 'tis fit
    You have strong party to defend yourself
    By calmness, or by absence: all's in danger.
    Shakesp. Coriol.

    His friends beheld, and pity'd him in vain,
    For what advice can ease a lover's pain?
    Absence, the best expedient they could find,
    Might save the fortune, if not cure the mind.
    Dryd. Fab.

  2. Want of appearance, in the legal sense.

    Absence is of a fourfold kind of species. The first is a necessary absence, as in banished persons; this is entirely necessary. A second, necessary and voluntary; as, upon the account of the commonwealth, or in the service of the church. The third kind the civilians call a probable absence; as, that of students on the score of study. And the forth, an absence entirely voluntary; as, on the account of trade, merchandise, and the like. Some add a fifth kind of absence, which is committed cum dolo & culpā, by a man's non-appearance on a citation; as, in a contumacious person, who, in hatred to his contumacy, is, by the law, in some respects, reputed as a person present. Ayliffe's Parergon Juris Canonici.

    You have given no dissertation upon the absence of lovers, nor laid down any methods how they should support themselves under those separations. Addison. Spectator, № 241.

  3. Inattention, heedlessness, neglect of the present object.

    I continued my walk, reflecting on the little absences and distractions of mankind. Addison. Spectator, № 77.

  4. It is used with the particle from.

    His absence from his mother oft he'll mourn,
    And, with his eyes, look wishes to return.
    Dryd. Juv. Sat. ii.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Ayliffe, John (43) · Shakespeare's Coriolanus (80) · Dryden, John (788) · Spectator (140)

Attributes: Noun Substantive (1269)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Absence." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 28, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/absence/.

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