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AWOL is an acronym for absent without official leave. AWOL is a military term that is used to designate a soldier who is absent from his post or duty without permission, but is not considered a deserter. AWOL may also be used figuratively to describe anyone who is not physically in a place where he is expected to be. The term AWOL is first seen around 1920, though the idea of a soldier being absent without leave is much older. AWOL is an American term. Though sometimes seen with periods as in A.W.O.L., or in lowercase letters as in awol, the term is correctly rendered without periods and in uppercase letters as in AWOL, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.


A former Newington man, acquitted by reason of insanity in the beating of his father in 2001, is being considered for release to the Norwich area, six years after he went AWOL from his first release in East Hartford and was captured wandering in West Springfield, Mass., two days later. (The Hartford Courant)

Going AWOL from his tour, armed with only his hoodie and skateboard, he meets Emily (Sarah Jeffery), a high-school art student aiming for a New York career. (The New York Times)

Robinson posed for a photo with Camacho, who had gone AWOL for a day to attend the show. (The Kansas City Star)

A man has been convicted of two separate assaults and of resisting arrest with a court hearing told that he also “went AWOL” to England for a time before he was taken into custody. (The Irish Examiner)

Imagine a military where most soldiers did not report for duty and went AWOL. (The Sun Sentinel)

Pvt. Erika Lopez, who went AWOL after being one of the first women to sign up to become an Army combat engineer, has turned herself in. (The Army Times)

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