Other than the word forgetter, is there any word for the person who often forgets?

I don’t mean someone with Alzheimer’s disease, just someone who reads a lot but is unable to recall what they’ve read when they need that information.

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    Are you looking for a noun or an adjective? Jul 25, 2015 at 9:37
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    The actual condition could be short term memory loss, but are you speaking about a healthy person, and in particular a student? When you cram a lot of information in a short space of time, it can feel like you're not retaining anything. The question title seems to confliict the question in the body. A person unable to recall information, is not the same as a person who often forgets to lock the back door, and can't find their car keys.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 25, 2015 at 9:38
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    The word you are seeking is on the tip of my tongue.
    – TimR
    Jul 25, 2015 at 11:31
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    Oh, yes ... well, I used to know .... errrr .... hang on .... it'll come to me ... Jul 25, 2015 at 14:27
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    @Scott the OP hasn't visited the site since asking the question, and I doubt Sandy will ever answer our inquiries. Note, SomethingDark and I posted comments within the first hour. Users will continue to answer the question title, ignoring everything else, so I'm voting to close this question as "too broad".
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 26, 2015 at 5:59

4 Answers 4


Absentminded may fit your description:

  • tending to forget things or to not notice things : having or showing a lack of attention.

( M-W)



apt or likely not to remember.

  • 1
    Where is that definition from? Also it doesn't answer the question, which is looking for a noun. Jul 25, 2015 at 23:38
  • @curiousdannii: How do you know what the question is looking for?  It asks, "is there any word for ...?"  A comment asked, "Are you looking for a noun or an adjective?" and the OP never responded. Jul 26, 2015 at 2:05

"Scatterbrained" although that sort of implies that the person does recall the information when he doesn't need it!

  • And its derivative (I suspect): "scatty". Jul 25, 2015 at 22:24

oblivious: forgetful; without remembrance or memory

  • That's etymologically correct, and would make a certain sort of sense to somebody who is English/French bilingual and can automatically link oblivious and oublier, or who has spent a lot of time reading the Harry Potter books, but oblivious has come to have the predominant meaning of "cannot or will not see the obvious". It's arguably wrong, but it's too late to roll back the change; expecting people to understand a word differently from how it is commonly used (outside of a technical realm) is optimistic to the point of foolishness.
    – bye
    Jul 26, 2015 at 6:08

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