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

Shaun Connell
April 23, 2024

If you wonder whether the correct spelling is 'absence' or 'absense,' you are not alone. But I can help!

Before we get into it, here is a quick overview in case you are in a rush: 

  • 'Absence' is the correct spelling. 
  • 'Absense' is a common misspelling that you should avoid using. 

The short answer above confirms the correct spelling, but to truly commit it to memory, learning more about this term is beneficial. So, keep reading!

Is the Correct Spelling 'Absence' or 'Absense?'

Some words have different spellings depending on whether you use US or British English. However, when it comes to whether 'absence' or 'absense' is correct, the first spelling is correct.

If you are a writer who works for clients in British English-speaking countries, you are likely familiar with these two writing styles. You are likely aware that numerous words have two spellings, such as:

  • Defence - Defense
  • Favor - Favour
  • Neighbor - Neighbour
  • Color - Colour

However, no matter where you are, 'absence' is always correct, and 'absense' is always a misspelling.

Definition of 'Absence': What Does 'Absence' Mean?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines 'absence' as a noun that means:

  • A condition or state in which something looked for, wanted, or expected is missing or does not exist
  • A state or condition in which something is not present
  • Failure to be present or arrive at an expected or usual place
  • A state of not being present
  • A period of time during which someone is not present
  • Inattention to current occurrences or surroundings

Synonyms and Similar Terms to 'Absence'

As a professional writer, knowing synonyms for words you often use can help you keep your text from sounding repetitive. So, here is a list of synonyms you can use for 'absence':

  • Lack
  • Need
  • Deficiency
  • Deprivation
  • Scarcity
  • Inadequacy
  • Deficit
  • Defect
  • Poverty
  • Insufficiency
  • Want
  • Need
  • Minus
  • Scantiness
  • Meagerness
  • Skimpinss
  • Requisite
  • Privation
  • AWOL
  • Truancy
  • Cut
  • Hooky
  • Absenteeism

Popular Terms Containing 'Absence'

  • Absence of Mind
  • Absence Note
  • Excused Absence
  • Unexcused Absence
  • Noted Absence
  • School Absence

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Absence'

Now that you know the correct spelling of this term, look at the pronunciation guide below.

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'absence correctly':


As you can see, the in 'absence' has an s sound, which is one of the reasons that people frequently misspell it.

Writing Tips: How and When to Use 'Absence'

Knowing the definition, correct spelling, and pronunciation of terms like this is beneficial. However, it may not help you remember how and when to use the term. So, here are a few writing tips.

  • Use 'absence' to refer to a period during which someone or something is missing.

For example, I might say something like:

I hate to tell you, but you will have much catching up to do. We were slammed during your absence last week.

  • Use 'absence' to indicate that something is missing.

As an example, you can say:

Your absence was more apparent than ever when customers flooded in, asking questions no one else could answer. 

  • Use 'absence of mind' to refer to a state in which someone is unaware of what is happening.

So, you might hear someone say:

My absence of mind after the loss of my best friend caused me even more stress and grief as I was unable to focus on important personal and business matters. 

  • Use 'excused absence' for a period during which someone was justified for being missing.

For example, you can say:

You need to send a parent note to receive an excused absence from school. 

  • Use 'unexcused absence' for a period during which someone's lack of attendance is not permitted.

As an example, I might say:

After my unexcused absence from work, I was fearful that I would lose my job. 

Sample Sentences Using 'Absence'

Now, take a look at these sample sentences using 'absence.' They should help you remember the correct spelling. However, it may also help to write the term correctly a few times. Often, writing a word repetitively helps you commit it to memory.


  • Absences are not excusable unless you have a doctor's note stating that you could not return to work.
  • After an extended absence, it is important to come back to work ready to catch up on everything that wasn't done while you were out.
  • Parents must send an absence note explaining why their child was not at school when they returned.
  • If you have too many unexcused absences, you will not graduate from high school this year.
  • Often, when people suffer trauma, they also have to deal with the absence of mind as they process the events that recently took place.
  • If you know of an expected absence, immediately notify your manager or team leader.
  • When our office manager was on maternity leave, everyone at our business felt her absence.
  • As a freelance writer, absence of mind is not an excuse for sharing unreliable information, so it is critical that you fact check all of the information you share in your posts.
  • Your absence was felt while we were sharing input on our new product line.

Conclusion: 'Absence' or 'Absense'

That concludes our lesson. However, before you go, here is a quick recap of what you learned about whether the correct spelling is 'absence' or 'absense.'

  • 'Absence' is the correct spelling for the noun defined as a period during which someone or something should be present but they are not.
  • 'Absense' is a common misspelling many people accidentally use because the c sounds like an s. 

Remember that the in 'absence' is absent, so the had to fill in.

If you want to learn about other terms often spelled or used incorrectly, read some other posts here for writers.

Plus, you can find valuable information in my other posts to help you improve your writing skills and career. So, return often to stay on top of the latest trends and industry best practices.

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Written By:
Shaun Connell
Shaun Connell has spent his entire career either working as a freelance writer or hiring freelance writers for his many successful publications. Shaun has learned the exact tricks of the trade to hire the perfect writer for almost any niche.

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