Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Deep in thought and heedless of present circumstances or activities; preoccupied.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Absent in mind; abstracted; preoccupied.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Characterized by absence of mind (see absence); inattentive to or forgetful of one's immediate surroundings.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. lost in thought; showing preoccupation

Etymologies

absent +‎ minded (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Josie looked up at Paul, her expression absent-minded.

    The Empty Family

  • Even the most absent-minded can't miss the tall-masted ships in the harbor.

    Paul LaRosa: South Street Seaport Museum Sinking Fast...

  • "Pockets is the damnedest things I ever see for makin 'a man absent-minded," he communed that night, as he crawled into his blankets.

    All Gold Canon

  • Judge Marcus O'Brien was absent-minded, and Mucluc Charley nudged him in the ribs.

    The Passing of Marcus O'Brien

  • She regarded him almost unrecognizingly, gathered herself mechanically together, uttered an absent-minded commonplace or so, and left the room.

    CHAPTER XVII

  • Oppression sat heavily upon them; the lightness of their natures had ebbed out of them; they were slack and absent-minded in their service, and they whispered gloomily to one another in the far end of the car next to the kitchen.

    Chapter 22: The Chicago Commune

  • "He looks very much like the absent-minded professor," he said.

    Newt Gingrich loses key members of his campaign

  • Now Ned stood in their living room, running his finger, as though absent-minded, across the wooden book shelf.

    Pre-Dinner Conversation

  • England were purposeful, Australia ragged, as Mr. Prior carved his way to his first Ashes hundred in only 109 balls, receiving good support from Tim Bresnan and Mr. Swann along the way and benefiting from some brainless bowling and absent-minded captaincy.

    Australian Frailties Shown Up by Comical Run-Out

  • Columbo star Peter Falk, who won four Emmys for playing the absent-minded detective, has died.

    Columbo Star Peter Falk Dies at 83

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