Absent-mindedness – Definition & Meaning


Absent-mindedness is a common trait that is often associated with forgetfulness and a lack of focus. It is a state of mind where an individual is preoccupied with their thoughts, causing them to be oblivious to their surroundings. This article will explore the definition and meaning of absent-mindedness, its origin, and its associations.


Absent-mindedness is defined as the state of being forgetful or preoccupied. It is a condition where an individual is not fully present in the moment, causing them to overlook important details or events. Absent-mindedness can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, fatigue, and distraction.


The term “absent-mindedness” originated in the 18th century and was used to describe individuals who were forgetful or preoccupied. It was first used in a literary context by the English writer Laurence Sterne in his novel “Tristram Shandy.”

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, absent-mindedness is defined as “the quality or state of being forgetful or preoccupied.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “tending to forget things or to not notice things around you because you are thinking about something else.”


Absent-mindedness is often associated with forgetfulness, distraction, and a lack of focus. It can also be associated with creativity, as individuals who are absent-minded may have a tendency to daydream and think outside the box.


Synonyms of absent-mindedness include forgetfulness, distraction, inattentiveness, and preoccupation.


Antonyms of absent-mindedness include attentiveness, focus, mindfulness, and awareness.

The same root words

The root words of absent-mindedness are “absent” and “mind.” “Absent” means not present or missing, while “mind” refers to the intellect or consciousness.

Example Sentences

  1. “I forgot my keys again. I’m so absent-minded!”.
  2. “She was so preoccupied with her thoughts that she didn’t even notice the time.”
  3. “His absent-mindedness caused him to miss his flight.”

Absent-mindedness is a common trait that affects many individuals. It is defined as the state of being forgetful or preoccupied and can be caused by a variety of factors. While it can be frustrating at times, it can also be associated with creativity and thinking outside the box. By being mindful and present in the moment, individuals can reduce their absent-mindedness and improve their focus and awareness.

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