Absent without leave


      • Military term
        Describes a soldier who has left their post or duty without permission or proper authorization

      • Unexcused absence
        Refers to someone who is not present or accounted for when they are expected to be, especially in a work or school setting

      • Neglecting responsibilities
        Implies that someone is shirking their duties or neglecting their responsibilities without any valid reason or explanation

    Examples of Absent without leave

    • Jane didn't show up for her shift at work yesterday, and her boss is really upset because she's been absent without leave.

      The idiom "absent without leave" means that someone is not present without providing a valid reason or permission. In this case, Jane didn't inform her boss that she would be absent, which is considered as being "absent without leave."

    • The soldier was in big trouble because he went absent without leave for two weeks without informing his superiors.

      In this example, the idiom is used to describe a military personnel who left their post without permission or authorization, causing concern and disciplinary action.

    • The teacher was disappointed when Mark didn't show up for his exam without any prior notice, making him absent without leave.

      This example illustrates the use of the idiom in an educational setting, where students are expected to inform their teachers if they're unable to attend classes or exams.

    • The manager was furious when the sales executive went absent without leave during an important meeting with a potential client.

      In this example, the idiom is used to describe an employee who left a crucial meeting without informing their manager, causing inconvenience and loss of business opportunities.

    • The doctor advised the patient to avoid being absent without leave from his medication routine, as it could lead to serious health complications.

      This example demonstrates the use of the idiom in a medical context, where patients are expected to follow their treatment plans and inform their doctors if they're unable to take their medication.


    The idiom "absent without leave" is commonly used to describe someone's unauthorized absence or failure to fulfill their responsibilities. It can be used in a military context, referring to a soldier who has left their post without permission. In a civilian setting, it can refer to someone who is not present or accounted for when they are expected to be, such as in a work or school setting. This idiom can also imply that someone is neglecting their responsibilities without a valid excuse.

    Origin of "Absent without leave"

    The phrase "absent without leave" originated in the military, specifically during the American Civil War in the 1860s. It was used as a formal charge for soldiers who left their post without authorization. The acronym AWOL (Absent Without Leave) became popular during World War II and is still used today in military contexts.

    The phrase was later adopted into civilian language, where it is used to refer to unexcused absences or neglecting responsibilities. It is often used in a more informal manner, but still carries a sense of seriousness and disapproval. In some cases, it may be used to describe someone who is avoiding their responsibilities or obligations without a valid excuse, similar to the military usage of the phrase.

    Overall, the idiom "absent without leave" has a strong negative connotation and is often used to criticize or discipline someone for their actions. It serves as a reminder to fulfill one's duties and responsibilities, whether in a military or civilian setting.