absent, absentminded, abstracted, scatty(adj)
lost in thought; showing preoccupation
"an absent stare"; "an absentminded professor"; "the scatty glancing quality of a hyperactive but unfocused intelligence"
English Synonyms and Antonyms
As regards mental action, absorbed, abstracted, and preoccupied refer to the cause, absent or absent-minded to the effect. The man absorbed in one thing will appear absent in others. A preoccupied person may seem listless and thoughtless, but the really listless and thoughtless have not mental energy to be preoccupied. The absent-minded man is oblivious of ordinary matters, because his thoughts are elsewhere. One who is preoccupied is intensely busy in thought; one may be absent-minded either through intense concentration or simply through inattention, with fitful and aimless wandering of thought. Compare ABSTRACT.
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