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What is the word used to refer to the absence of something? Let's say that I have a water bottle and, I drink all of the water. I think the word should be an adjective or maybe a past-participle verb in the form of:

The water is ______.

I know I can use 'empty' but it is used for the container.

The water bottle is empty.

This is also a valid sentence, but the subject is not the water.

I ran out of water.

If this could help, I'm looking for the translation of the word habis in Bahasa Indonesia.

Here's the definition. (Translated)

  1. v nothing is left (because it's used, shared, eaten, etc.); doesn't have a remainder

Is there a word for this? If not, is there a compound word or a phrase?


Edited after an answer was given: It's not gone/missing because it implies that I have to search for it (It's gone). I know where it went (I drink it).

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    It's not gone/missing because it implies that I have to search for it (It's gone). I know where it went (I drink it). Gone is commonly used of money and other resources, to mean spent or exhausted, without any sense that they have vanished mysteriously: the OED has "My Ink, as I observed, had been gone for some time", "My money is gone", "The rust is gone", "The scientific men will find plenty of ways of finding heat and motive power when the coal is all gone", "The last Glimmering of hope was gone"....
    – Stuart F
    Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 14:03

4 Answers 4

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As is often the case, the poster has led himself into a trap by insisting in expressing an idea using a particular grammatical construction — here a predicative adjective. As this is not a quiz site, but a site concerned with the English language where there is no reason to confine oneself in this way, I suggest something, according to context, on the lines of:

There is no more water.

We have drunk all the water.

We have used all the water.

or even

The well is dry.

Although I cannot be certain, I doubt whether the word that is being sought really exists. However, if one really must have a sentence with a predicative adjective:

The water is exhausted.

might serve. There are certainly examples of this usage if you run a Google ngram

There are two problems I see with this. First, it is technical rather than everyday language (where ‘exhausted’ is generally a synonym for ‘tired’). Second, it could be considered a cheat: it is the supply of water that is actually exhausted. But most people would consider this pedantic (or splitting hairs, in everyday language).

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  • I know that I can use those sentences. I'm just asking if there's a word that can be used in that particular part of speech.
    – Faris
    Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 22:17
  • @Faris — OK. I've given you an example which I think may be what you want. I'm not sure that "exhausted" is different in principle to Brett Roman's "gone", but it doesn't have the connotation of loss or theft.
    – David
    Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 10:27
  • @Lawrence mentioned "exhausted" among other things in a comment. I hadn't read that before amending my answer, but it makes no difference to the fact that I have stuck my neck out to suggest it as appropriate by including it in my answer. I prefer it to the other suggestions of this sort.
    – David
    Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 10:32
  • If there's no such word, could you please edit your answer to state that it doesn't exist, so I can accept your answer.
    – Faris
    Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 12:08
  • @Faris Much as I would like to have my answer accepted, I am reluctant to say something doesn’t exist. This is because I am a professional scientist and it goes against the way we argue, and of course there are people on this list who are language professionals. However I’ll add something in typical academic language.
    – David
    Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 13:16
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The water is gone.

It's a simple word, easily understood and means exactly what you ask for. Despite what is written in the question "gone" does not imply that you don't know where it went, or that you are going to search for it. It is completely OK to use it when you know where the water went (i.e. you drank it).

The word "missing" is not applicable because it does imply that you don't know where it is.

In cases where all of the water has specifically been consumed "Used up" and "finished" are also possible.

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What about this word?

Dearth /dərTH/

noun

A scarcity or lack of something. "There is a dearth of evidence."

from the Oxford Dictionary.

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    Using the sample sentence from the question - would "The water is dearth" actually work? Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 13:09
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Depleted? Nice participial. Not exactly absence, but this fits with the sense that you are going for.

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  • @DJClayworth I disagree, "deplete" means to reduce or exhaust. It doesn't necessarily imply that something is totally gone, but neither does it imply that there is definitely some remaining. A depleted battery would typically be understood to be totally useless for providing electrical power. An example sentence: "If the battery charge on the console is nearly depleted when the AC adapter is first plugged in..." doesn't refer to a situation where the battery is "nearly partially gone", it refers to the battery being "nearly exhausted". Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 15:07
  • I think you are right. I hadn't thought of "the battery is nearly depleted". But I think you would have to say "The water is completely depleted" to be sure communicating its total absence. "The water is depleted" could mean it's only partially gone. Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 15:10

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