Absent-minded professor


      • a person who is forgetful or preoccupied with their thoughts
        Describing someone who often forgets things or gets lost in their own thoughts and is therefore absent-minded or inattentive to their surroundings

      • someone who is highly intelligent or knowledgeable
        Referring to someone who may be forgetful or absent-minded due to their intense focus on their academic or intellectual pursuits, often resulting in a stereotype of being absent-minded but brilliant

    Examples of Absent-minded professor

    • The scientist, known as the absent-minded professor, left his notes and calculator on the train again.

      This idiom is used to describe a person, usually a professor or academic, who is so engrossed in their thoughts and ideas that they forget everyday tasks or items. In this example, the scientist is repeatedly forgetting important items while traveling, which is a common trait of an absent-minded professor.

    • The artist, who is a bit absent-minded, forgot to sign his name on the painting.

      In this example, the artist's forgetfulness is related to a specific task, which is a common usage of the idiom. The absent-mindedness in this case caused the artist to forget a crucial step in completing the painting.

    • The engineer, who is often absent-minded, left his tools at the construction site.

      Here, the idiom is used to describe the engineer's forgetfulness related to his work tools. This is a common scenario for someone who is frequently preoccupied with their thoughts and ideas.

    • The musician, who is sometimes absent-minded, forgot to tune his guitar before the performance.

      This example shows how the idiom can be used to describe a specific task or event related to the person's profession. The musician's forgetfulness caused him to make a mistake during the performance, which is a common consequence of absent-mindedness.

    • The student, who is a bit absent-minded, forgot to submit his assignment on time.

      In this example, the student's forgetfulness is related to an academic task, which is a common usage of the idiom. The absent-mindedness caused the student to miss the deadline for his assignment, which is a common consequence for someone who is easily distracted.


    The idiom "absent-minded professor" is used to describe someone who is either forgetful or highly intelligent and preoccupied with their thoughts. In both cases, the person is characterized as being absent-minded and not fully present in their surroundings. This phrase can be used playfully or in a more derogatory manner, depending on the context and tone.

    Origin of "Absent-minded professor"

    The origin of the idiom "absent-minded professor" can be traced back to the early 20th century. It is believed to have originated from a popular comedic play called "The Absent-Minded Beggar" written by Arthur Conan Doyle in 1899. The play featured a character named Professor Challenger who was described as an absent-minded professor, and this characterization stuck in popular culture.

    The idiom gained further popularity in the 1940s with the release of the Disney movie "The Absent-Minded Professor" which followed the story of a distracted and forgetful inventor. Since then, the phrase has been used in various contexts, often referring to someone who is highly intelligent but forgetful or inattentive. However, it can also be used to describe someone who is simply forgetful and absent-minded without any association with intelligence.