Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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?

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by Bradd Szonye, Jon Hanna, RegDwigнt Feb 4 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
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

3  
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

1 Answer 1

Absent is indeed used as a preposition to mean without.

share|improve this answer
    
Can you list a dictionary that has it as a preposition? –  Apollyon Feb 4 at 4:49
3  
Check the linked dictionary. –  Bradd Szonye Feb 4 at 5:22

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.