conspicuous by one's absence

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Obviously not present in a place where one or it should be, from a speech made in 1859 by the British Whig statesman Lord John Russell (1792–1878). Lord John attributed the coinage to a passage in Tacitus, relating to the funeral procession in ad 22, of Junia, sister of Brutus and widow of Cassius, in which the effigies of the two men were said to be most conspicuous because they were not to be seen.

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