conspicuous by its absence

conspicuous by (one's) absence

Noticeably missing from something. You're the loudest one in the class, so of course you're conspicuous by your absence!
See also: absence, by, conspicuous

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, by, 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, by, conspicuous
References in periodicals archive ?
but with one key accolade conspicuous by its absence - a Blue Flag Award.
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.
As community leaders debated what to do about the problemif it is, in fact, a problemone suggestion was conspicuous by its absence: No one proposed that we simply stop doing censuses of Jews.
But while there's something undeniably fascinating about the way "Fairhaven" repeatedly avoids predictable payoffs for portentous dramatic setups, narrative momentum is conspicuous by its absence. The low-key indie seems best suited for homescreen platforms.
Summary: Since the so-called Arab Spring began a year and a half ago, there has been one cause conspicuous by its absence: that of Palestine.
THE Government has been very conspicuous by its absence in either not condemning or condoning the hefty energy price rises.
Yet, Chester's participation in the 410-2010 events is conspicuous by its absence. Fair enough, there's no Hadrian's Wall to illuminate but why can't the home to the biggest of the 18 remaining amphitheatres in Britain at least host a conference, day school or even a seminar?
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.
However, one subject was conspicuous by its absence. As the Greeks argued, a sound mind requires a sound body.
But in this catalogue of building blocks in New Hampshire's better foundation there was one particularly high-profile piece of legislation that was particularly conspicuous by its absence: the civil unions bill.
Yet it is conspicuous by its absence on Radio Wales.
However, when the newcomer arrives, later this year, the estate version will be conspicuous by its absence. It has been ditched by public demand, or rather the lack of it, with just a handful managing to find buyers.
Eriksson's name was conspicuous by its absence from the statement, only fuelling speculation that his job is on the line, which the FA were made aware of before it was posted on their website.