To go missing suddenly and without warning. "AWOL" is an acronym for "absent without leave." It is originally a military phrase for one who leaves their post or duties without permission but without intention to desert. The printer from the third floor has gone AWOL—does anyone know where it went? Jerry went AWOL after a few drinks. None of us even knew he had left until half an hour later.
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to become absent without leave. (Originally military.) Private Smith went AWOL last Wednesday. Now he's in a military prison. Tom went AWOL and finally we had to fire him.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
go ˈAWOLgo missing without permission or explanation: He’s gone AWOL. ♢ The guitarist suddenly went AWOL in the middle of the tour.
This expression is used in the armed forces when someone has left their group without permission. It stands for Absent WithOut Leave.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017