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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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So far every one does! Where did you look? –  medica Feb 4 at 4:29
I can find its noun and verb entries, but not its preposition entry. –  Apollyon Feb 4 at 4:48
Please look in any of the several dictionaries that Susan and Jasper linked to. –  Bradd Szonye Feb 4 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 at 10:30
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closed as off-topic by Bradd Szonye, Jon Hanna, RegDwigнt Feb 4 at 10:25

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1 Answer

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 at 4:49
Check the linked dictionary. –  Bradd Szonye Feb 4 at 5:22
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