conspicuous by its absence

conspicuous by its absence

Also, conspicuous by one's absence. Glaringly obvious by the fact of not being there. For example, One agenda item concerning publicity is conspicuous by its absence, or The bride's father was conspicuous by his absence. The idea is ancient; it was expressed by the Roman writer Tacitus, concerning the absence of Junia's brother and husband at her funeral procession. [Mid-1800s]
See also: absence, conspicuous

conspicuous by its absence

Very obvious through nonattendance. This oxymoron, which goes back to ancient Rome, applies to people or objects that attracted attention because they were expected to be present but weren't. An example would be a close relative who either wasn't invited or chose not to attend a family function. Some literary commentators contend that the phrase has become a cliché, but it's now used so rarely, you may—although at your peril—claim its wit to be your own.
See also: absence, conspicuous
References in periodicals archive ?
The December 2011 dog made a stunning eight-bend debut in a trial stakes for the 714m event at Crayford last month and had been quoted as low as 8-1 by the sponsor from an opening 50-1 only for his name to be conspicuous by its absence from the entries.
Comment of the Day PS20 IN this so-called Christian country of ours - conspicuous by its absence under an avalanche of greed and selfishness - the true meaning of Christmas is buried.
THE Government has been very conspicuous by its absence in either not condemning or condoning the hefty energy price rises.
However, one of the topics which seemed conspicuous by its absence, was that regarding paedophile priests.
Yet, Chester's participation in the 410-2010 events is conspicuous by its absence.
The study said: "A 'safety culture' was conspicuous by its absence from respondents' discourses of their prescribing errors, the reported culture of their working environments and the reported actions of other doctors.
As for the great American nation, the so-called leader of the free world, their lead on this is conspicuous by its absence.
Not Sir Stuart Rose, whose Live at the Improv-style stand-up routine failed to garner many laughs from stony-faced shareholders; no, conspicuous by its absence was Mark the Shark, the aquatic PR bio-weapon.
Yet it is conspicuous by its absence on Radio Wales.
Last year, the cuckoo was conspicuous by its absence nationally but, this year, its distinctive call is heard loud and clear, which, hopefully, will herald the return of other missing bird species.
What will be conspicuous by its absence in a version of Playboy proposed for sale in Indonesia?
All except Babayaro whose logo was conspicuous by its absence until he put on a new shirt for the second half.
Conspicuous by its absence was a representative from our local health board to enlighten the audience on the progress they are making to alleviate the damage done to the health of the people living near the NYG landfill site.
Conspicuous by its absence from any of the recent changes, analysts said, was the Magellan fund and its manager of more than three years, Jeffrey N.
One piece of reportage that is conspicuous by its absence from the British press is that which says that the Fraud Squad and the Financial Services Authority are investigating financial irregularity.