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I've recently seen some people use absent as if it were a preposition. One example, which I found in the Christianity forum of Stack Exchange, is as follows:

A Sinful nature provides an irresistable [sic] compulsion to sin, but even absent that, one can still partake in sin.

I cannot find the prepositional use of absent in any dictionary. Is it a new usage?

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closed as off-topic by Bradd Szonye, Jon Hanna, RegDwigнt Feb 4 '14 at 10:25

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. A list of these references can be found here: List of general references" – Bradd Szonye, Jon Hanna, RegDwigнt
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So far every one does! Where did you look? – medica Feb 4 '14 at 4:29
I can find its noun and verb entries, but not its preposition entry. – Apollyon Feb 4 '14 at 4:48
Please look in any of the several dictionaries that Susan and Jasper linked to. – Bradd Szonye Feb 4 '14 at 5:26
M-W, AHD, Wiktionary, Oxford Dictionaries, The Free Dictionary, Dictionary.com and Etymonline all have an entry on absent as a preposition. As the last one points out, the usage is at least 70 years old. – RegDwigнt Feb 4 '14 at 10:30

Absent is indeed used as a preposition to mean without.

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Can you list a dictionary that has it as a preposition? – Apollyon Feb 4 '14 at 4:49
Check the linked dictionary. – Bradd Szonye Feb 4 '14 at 5:22

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