Absent vs Free - What's the difference?

absent | free |

In obsolete|lang=en terms the difference between absent and free

is that absent is (obsolete) stay away; withdraw while free is (obsolete) freely; willingly.

As adjectives the difference between absent and free

is that absent is (not comparable) being away from a place; withdrawn from a place; not present; missing
while free is (label) unconstrained.

As nouns the difference between absent and free

is that absent is (obsolete) absentee; a person who is away on occasion while free is (australian rules football|gaelic football) abbreviation of free kick.

As verbs the difference between absent and free

is that absent is (transitive|now|reflexive) keep away; stay away; go away while free is to make free; set at liberty; release; rid of that which confines, limits, embarrasses, or oppresses.

As a preposition absent

is (legal) in the absence of; without .

As an adverb free is

without needing to pay.



Alternative forms


Etymology 1

* From (etyl) absent, (etyl) .


  • (not comparable) Being away from a place; withdrawn from a place; not present; missing.
  • * 1623 , (William Shakespeare), All’s Well That Ends Well, II-iii
  • Expecting absent friends.
  • (not comparable) Not existing; lacking.
  • The part was rudimental or absent .
  • (sometimes, comparable) Inattentive to what is passing; absent-minded; preoccupied.
  • * 1746-1747 , Chesterfield, Letters to his Son
  • What is commonly called an absent man is commonly either a very weak or a very affected man.
    * present


    (en noun)
  • (obsolete) Absentee; a person who is away on occasion.
  • Preposition

    (English prepositions)
  • (legal) In the absence of; without.
  • * 1919 , State vs. Britt, Supreme Court of Missouri, Division 2, in The Southwestern Reporter , page 427
  • If the accused refuse upon demand to pay money or deliver property (absent any excuse or excusing circumstance) which came into his hands as a bailee, such refusal might well constitute some evidence of conversion, with the requisite fraudulent intent required by the statute.
  • * 2011 , David Elstein, letter, London Review of Books , XXXIII.15:
  • the Princess Caroline case [...] established that – absent a measurable ‘public interest’ in publication – she was safe from being photographed while out shopping.

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) absenter, from .


    (en verb)
  • (transitive, now, reflexive) Keep away; stay away; go away.
  • *
  • Go; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more;
  • * 1701-1703 , , "Remarks on Italy"
  • If after due summons any member absents himself, he is to be fined.
  • *
  • This work was strictly voluntary, but any animal who absented himself from it would have his rations reduced by half.
  • (obsolete) Stay away; withdraw.
  • (rare) Leave.
  • Anagrams



    English heteronyms ----




  • (label) Unconstrained.
  • *{{quote-book, year=1899, author=(Stephen Crane)
  • , title=, chapter=1 , passage=There was some laughter, and Roddle was left free to expand his ideas on the periodic visits of cowboys to the town. “Mason Rickets, he had ten big punkins a-sittin' in front of his store, an' them fellers from the Upside-down-F ranch shot 'em up […].”}}
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-08-10, volume=408, issue=8848, magazine=(The Economist), author=Schumpeter
  • , title=[http://www.economist.com/news/business/21583242-businesspeople-have-become-too-influential-government-cronies-and-capitols Cronies and capitols] , passage=Policing the relationship between government and business in a free society is difficult. Businesspeople have every right to lobby governments, and civil servants to take jobs in the private sector.}}
  • # Not imprisoned or enslaved.
  • # Unconstrained by timidity or distrust; unreserved; frank; communicative.
  • #* Milward
  • He was free only with a few.
  • # Generous; liberal.
  • # (label) Clear of offence or crime; guiltless; innocent.
  • #* (John Dryden) (1631-1700)
  • My hands are guilty, but my heart is free .
  • # Without obligations.
  • # Thrown open, or made accessible, to all; to be enjoyed without limitations; unrestricted; not obstructed, engrossed, or appropriated; open; said of a thing to be possessed or enjoyed.
  • #* (William Shakespeare) (1564-1616)
  • Why, sir, I pray, are not the streets as free / For me as for you?
  • # Not arbitrary or despotic; assuring liberty; defending individual rights against encroachment by any person or class; instituted by a free people; said of a government, institutions, etc.
  • # (label) With no or only freedom-preserving limitations on distribution or modification.
  • # (label) Intended for release, as opposed to a checked version.
  • Obtainable without any payment.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-07-20, volume=408, issue=8845, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title=[http://www.economist.com/news/http://www.economist.com/news/business/21582001-army-new-online-courses-scaring-wits-out-traditional-universities-can-they The attack of the MOOCs] , passage=Since the launch early last year of […] two Silicon Valley start-ups offering free education through MOOCs, massive open online courses, the ivory towers of academia have been shaken to their foundations. University brands built in some cases over centuries have been forced to contemplate the possibility that information technology will rapidly make their existing business model obsolete.}}
  • # Obtainable without additional payment, as a bonus given when paying for something else.
  • (label) Unconstrained.
  • # (label) Unconstrained by relators.
  • # Unconstrained by quantifiers.
  • # (label) Of identifiers, not bound.
  • # That can be used by itself, unattached to another morpheme.
  • (label) Unconstrained.
  • # Unobstructed, without blockages.
  • # Unattached or uncombined.
  • # Not currently in use; not taken; unoccupied.
  • # Not attached; loose.
  • #*
  • Furthermore, the free anterior margin of the lobule is arched toward the lobe and is often involute
  • Without; not containing (what is specified); exempt; clear; liberated.
  • * (w) (1635?-1715)
  • princes declaring themselves free from the obligations of their treaties
  • *
  • , title=(The Celebrity), chapter=4 , passage=One morning I had been driven to the precarious refuge afforded by the steps of the inn, after rejecting offers from the Celebrity to join him in a variety of amusements. But even here I was not free from interruption, for he was seated on a horse-block below me, playing with a fox terrier.}}
  • (label) Ready; eager; acting without spurring or whipping; spirited.
  • (label) Invested with a particular freedom or franchise; enjoying certain immunities or privileges; admitted to special rights; followed by of .
  • * (John Dryden) (1631-1700)
  • He therefore makes all birds, of every sect, / Free of his farm.
  • Certain or honourable; the opposite of base .
  • (Burrill)
  • (label) Privileged or individual; the opposite of common .
  • (Burrill)


    * (obtainable without payment) free of charge, gratis * (unconstrained) unconstrained, unfettered, unhindered * (unobstructed) clear, unobstructed * libre * (without) without * unbound


    * (not imprisoned or enslaved) bound, enslaved, imprisoned * (unconstrained) constrained, restricted * bound * (unobstructed) blocked, obstructed * bound * proprietary software

    Derived terms

    * -free * free Abelian group, free abelian group * free algebra * free and clear * free and easy * free as a bird * freeball * freebooter * free fall * free group * freelance * freeloader * free lunch * freely * free market * free marketeer * Freemason * free module * free object * free of charge * free rein * free ride * free rider * free semigroup * free speech * free spirit * free-spoken * free-thinker * free time * free variable * free vote * freeware * freeway * freewheel * free will * unfree


    (en adverb)
  • Without needing to pay.
  • I got this bike free .
  • (obsolete) Freely; willingly.
  • * Shakespeare
  • I as free forgive you / As I would be forgiven.


    * for free, for nothing


  • To make free; set at liberty; release; rid of that which confines, limits, embarrasses, or oppresses.
  • Hyponyms

    * emancipate * liberate * manumit * release * unchain * unfetter


    (en noun)
  • (Australian rules football, Gaelic football) Abbreviation of free kick.
  • * 2006 , [http://footballlegends.org/daryn_cresswell.htm]:
  • Whether deserved or not, the free' gave Cresswell the chance to cover himself in glory with a shot on goal after the siren.
  • free transfer
  • * {{quote-news
  • , year=2011 , date=September 21 , author=Sam Lyon , title=Man City 2 - 0 Birmingham , work=BBC Sport , url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/14910208.stm , page= , passage=Hargreaves, who left Manchester United on a free during the summer, drilled a 22-yard beauty to open the scoring.}}
  • (hurling) The usual means of restarting play after a foul is committed, where the non-offending team restarts from where the foul was committed.
  • Usage notes