AWOL or awol, A.W.O.L., a.w.o.l. [pronounced as initials or ey-wawl, ey-wol] Word Origin adjective, adverb

  1. away from military duties without permission, but without the intention of deserting.


  1. a soldier or other military person who is absent from duty without leave.


  1. go AWOL,
    1. to depart from military duty without leave.
    2. to absent oneself without explanation.

Origin of AWOL 1915–20; A(bsent) W(ith)o(ut) L(eave) Related Words for go awol quit, depart, bolt, escape, vacate, flee, forsake, betray, break, hightail, fade, skedaddle, get, jump, scram, leave, decamp, slip, vanish, vamoose British Dictionary definitions for go awol AWOL A.W.O.L. adjective

  1. military absent without leave; absent from one’s post or duty without official permission but without intending to desert

Word Origin and History for go awol awol adj.

also a.w.o.l., military initialism for absent without leave. The -o- seems to be there mostly so the initialism can be pronounced as a word. In U.S. military use at least from World War II, popular use by 1960.

go awol in Culture go AWOL [(aye-wahl)]

To take unauthorized time off from work, school, or other duties: “Let’s go AWOL and catch a baseball game this afternoon.” AWOL is an acronym for “absent without leave [permission].” The term originated with the military during World War I.

Idioms and Phrases with go awol AWOL

see absent without leave.

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