Words of the Day: Absent-minded and Absolve and their synonyms

As a writer it’s important I have a large vocabulary, so I’ve decided to read through the dictionary. To keep me accountable I will post my favorite words from each dictionary page. Definitions come from Webster’s New World Dictionary of American English, Third College Edition, 1988. I like word etymologies so a lot of the words of the day will be root words.

I like to learn the nuances between similar words, so today I chose two words and their synonyms.

Absent-minded (adjective) 1 so dreamy or lost in thought as not to pay attention to what one is doing or what is going on around one 2 habitually forgetful

Synonyms: absent-minded suggests an aimless wandering of the mind away from the immediate situation, often implying a habitual tendency of this kind [the absent-minded professor]

abstracted suggests a withdrawal of the mind from the immediate present and a serious concern with some other subject

preoccupied implies that the attention cannot be readily turned to something new because of its concern with a present matter

distrait suggests inability to concentrate, often emphasizing such a condition as a mood

distraught implies a similar inability to concentrate, specifically because of worry, grief, etc.

inattentive implies a failure to pay attention, emphasizing such behavior as a lack of discipline


Absolve (transitive verb) 1 to pronounce free from guilt or blame; acquit 2 a) to give religious absolution to b) to remit (a sin) 3 to free (from a duty, promise, etc.)

Synonyms: absolve implies a setting free from responsibilities or obligation or from penalties for their violation

acquit means to release from a specific charge by a judicial decision, usually for lack of evidence

to exonerate is to relieve of the blame for a wrongdoing

to pardon is to release from punishment for an offense

forgive implies giving up all claim that an offense be punished as well as any resentment or vengeful feelings

to vindicate is to clear (a person or thing under attack) through evidence of the unfairness of the charge, criticisms, etc.



Micah 7:18 (NKJV)

Who is a God like You,

Pardoning iniquity

And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?

He does not retain His anger forever,

Because He delights in mercy.

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