‘Absence’ or ‘Absense’: How to Spell ‘Absence’ Correctly

By Shanea Patterson, updated on November 17, 2022

Does everything run smoothly in your ‘absence’ or your ‘absense’? If you’re wondering what the correct spelling is, we’ll cover that in this article. Plus, we’ll teach you how to pluralize the word and use it in a sentence correctly.

Short answer? The correct spelling is ‘absence.’ Any other spelling of the word is incorrect.

Absence vs. Absense: What is the Correct Spelling?

As we just revealed above, the correct spelling of the word is ‘absence.’ Any other spelling of the word wouldn't be correct.

How to Spell Absence – Is it Absense or Absence?

You might be tempted to spell the word ‘absense’ because the word ‘sense’ is a word on its own. But this would be incorrect.

Spelling the word that way would be ungrammatical.

Let’s define the word and learn how to pluralize it, so we know how to use it in a sentence.

Definition and Meaning

The Merriam-Webster definition of the word ‘absence’ is: “a state or condition in which something expected, wanted, or looked for is not present or does not exist: a state or condition in which something is absent,” “a failure to be present at a usual or expected place: the state of being absent,” “the period of time that one is absent,” “and “inattention to present surroundings or occurrences.”

The Cambridge definition is: “the fact of not being where you are usually expected to be,” “the fact of not existing,” “the state of not being somewhere, or a period in which you are not somewhere,” “a time when someone is not at work or at the place they are expected to be,” and “the fact that something is not where it is needed or expected.”

Some synonyms of the word include:

  • Lack
  • Want
  • Need
  • Needfulness

Plural of ‘Absence’

The standard rule for making words plural in English is to add an ‘s’ or ‘es’ to the end of a word.

Take a look at a few examples:

  • Computer > computers
  • Potato > Potatoes
  • Couch > Couches
  • Hero > Heroes
  • Tux > Tuxes
  • Roof > Roofs

How to Use it In a Sentence Correctly 

Finally, we can talk about how to use the word in a sentence correctly. Let’s see some examples:

Now let’s see how to use the plural version of the word in a sentence:

  • Lisa had three absences in a row; she was in danger of being fired.
  • I can’t relate to all those absences on her record; I have perfect attendance.
  • Are all of her absences associated with her pregnancy?

Remember that when forming a sentence, the subject must agree with the verb.

Concluding Thoughts on ‘Absence’ and ‘Absense’

Now that we’ve discussed the definition and the plural version of the word and learned how to use it in a sentence, you should have confidence you can use the word correctly in your everyday writing.

Need an easy way to remember how to spell it? Just think: Abs don’t make sense. If you’ve spelled ‘ad and sense,’ you’ve spelled it wrong, and you’ll know it won’t make any sense when people read it.

If you ever have trouble remembering that and the spelling, we’ve compiled a library of articles dedicated to explaining confusing words and phrases. Pop back over and check it out anytime.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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