1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Absence
ABSENCE (Lat. absentia), the fact of being “away,” either in body or mind; “absence of mind” being a condition in which the mind is withdrawn from what is passing. The special occasion roll-call at Eton College is called “Absence,” which the boys attend in their tall hats. A soldier must get permission or “leave of absence” before he can be away from his regiment. Seven years’ absence with no sign of life either by letter or message is held presumptive evidence of death in the law courts.