being, existing, or occurring at this time or now; current:
increasing respect for the present ruler of the small country.
at this time; at hand; immediate:
articles for present use.

noting an action or state occurring at the moment of speaking or writing: Knows is a present form in He knows that.
noting or pertaining to a tense or other verb formation with such meaning.

being with one or others or in the specified or understood place:
to be present at the wedding.
being here:
Is everyone present?
existing or occurring in a place, thing, combination, or the like:
Carbon is present in many minerals.
being actually here or under consideration:
the present document; the present topic.
being before the mind.
Obsolete. mentally alert and calm, especially in emergencies.
Obsolete. immediate or instant.
the present time.

the present tense.
a verb formation or construction with present meaning.
a form in the present.

presents, Law. the present writings, or this document, used in a deed of conveyance, a lease, etc., to denote the document itself:
Know all men by these presents that . . . .
Obsolete. the matter in hand.
at present, at the present time or moment; now:
There are no job openings here at present.
for the present, for now; temporarily:
For the present, we must be content with matters as they stand.
to furnish or endow with a gift or the like, especially by formal act:
to present someone with a gold watch.
to bring, offer, or give, often in a formal or ceremonious way:
to present one’s card.
afford or furnish (an opportunity, possibility, etc.).
to hand over or submit, as a bill or a check, for payment:
The waiter presented our bill for lunch.
to introduce (a person) to another, especially in a formal manner:
Mrs. Smith, may I present Mr. Jones?
to bring before or introduce to the public:
to present a new play.
to come to show (oneself) before a person, at a place, etc.
to show or exhibit:
This theater will present films on a larger screen.
to bring forth or render for or before another or others; offer for consideration:
to present an alternative plan.
to set forth in words; frame or articulate:
to present arguments.
to represent, impersonate, or act, as on the stage.
to direct, point, or turn (something) to something or someone:
He presented his back to the audience.
to level or aim (a weapon, especially a firearm).

to bring against, as a formal charge against a person.
to bring formally to the notice of the proper authority, as an offense.

British Ecclesiastical. to offer or recommend (a member of the clergy) to the bishop for institution to a benefice.

(of a fetus) to be visible at the cervix during labor:
In a normal delivery, the baby’s head presents first.
(of a medical condition) to be evident from the presence of certain symptoms:
Depression often presents with disturbed sleep or appetite.
(of a patient) to have a certain symptom or medical condition, especially as reported during a medical examination:
A 22-year-old man presents with shortness of breath.

a thing presented as a gift; gift:
Christmas presents.
Contemporary Examples

The Daily Beast: There were several episodes this season set entirely in the present, rather than in multiple timeframes.
Damages’ Bloody Finale Jace Lacob April 19, 2010

Organizers of left-wing protests always present themselves as helpless to contain the violent margin, the so-called Black Bloc.
How to Lose Hearts and Minds David Frum May 17, 2012

The fast of the Ninth of Av is not intended to decry only past pain (though that too) but present political misdeeds.
Today’s Lamentations Aryeh Cohen July 28, 2012

Personable and approachable, Jordin was easy to give instruction to because she was present.
‘American Idol’ Bandleader Rickey Minor on His Favorite Performance and What It Takes to Win Kevin Fallon May 19, 2014

But rather than honing in on the present (Mrs. Obama included), the designer is focused on the bigger picture instead.
Thom Browne’s Women’s Line Evolves in the Wake of Michelle Obama’s Inaugural Ensemble Misty White Sidell February 11, 2013

Historical Examples

They had no definite views at present on the subject of Imperial Federation.
The Last Voyage Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey

Her house is the only one in all Greece where women are allowed to be present at entertainments.
Philothea Lydia Maria Child

But every one of the five felt that they were safe, at least for the present, from pursuit.
The Eyes of the Woods Joseph A. Altsheler

When you kill off all your present army, you must git up a draft.
Punchinello, Vol. 1. No. 20, August 13, 1870 Various

Conservative: preserving, so far as convenient, the present state of things.
The History of London Walter Besant

(prenominal) in existence at the moment in time at which an utterance is spoken or written
(postpositive) being in a specified place, thing, etc: the murderer is present in this room
(prenominal) now in consideration or under discussion: the present topic, the present author
(grammar) denoting a tense of verbs used when the action or event described is occurring at the time of utterance or when the speaker does not wish to make any explicit temporal reference
(archaic) readily available; instant: present help is at hand
(archaic) mentally alert; attentive
the present, the time being; now

the present tense
a verb in this tense

at present, at the moment; now
for the present, for the time being; temporarily
verb (mainly transitive) (prɪˈzɛnt)
to introduce (a person) to another, esp to someone of higher rank
to introduce to the public: to present a play
to introduce and compere (a radio or television show)
to show; exhibit: he presented a brave face to the world
to put forward; submit: she presented a proposal for a new book
to bring or suggest to the mind: to present a problem
to give or award: to present a prize
to endow with or as if with a gift or award: to present a university with a foundation scholarship
to offer formally: to present one’s compliments
to offer or hand over for action or settlement: to present a bill
to represent or depict in a particular manner: the actor presented Hamlet as a very young man
to salute someone with (one’s weapon) (usually in the phrase present arms)
to aim or point (a weapon)
to nominate (a clergyman) to a bishop for institution to a benefice in his diocese
to lay (a charge, etc) before a court, magistrate, etc, for consideration or trial
to bring a formal charge or accusation against (a person); indict
(mainly US) (of a grand jury) to take notice of (an offence) from personal knowledge or observation, before any bill of indictment has been drawn up
(intransitive) (med) to seek treatment for a particular symptom or problem: she presented with postnatal depression
(intransitive) (informal) to produce a favourable, etc impression: she presents well in public, he presents as harmless but has poisoned his family
present oneself, to appear, esp at a specific time and place
noun (ˈprɛzənt)
anything that is presented; a gift
make someone a present of something, to give someone something: I’ll make you a present of a new car

c.1300, “existing at the time,” from Old French present “evident, at hand, within reach;” as a noun, “the present time” (11c., Modern French présent) and directly from Latin praesentem (nominative praesens) “present, at hand, in sight; immediate; prompt, instant; contemporary,” from present participle of præesse “be before (someone or something), be at hand,” from prae- “before” (see pre-) + esse “to be” (see essence). Meaning “being there” is from mid-14c. in English. As a grammatical tense, recorded from late 14c.

c.1300, “introduce (someone or something) formally or ceremonially;” also “make a formal presentation of; give as a gift or award; bestow,” from Old French presenter (11c., Modern French présenter) and directly from Latin praesentare “to place before, show, exhibit,” from stem of praesens (see present (adj.)). From late 14c. as “exhibit (something), offer for inspection, display;” also, in law, “make a formal complaint or charge of wrongdoing.” From c.1400 as”represent, portray.” Related: Presented; presenting.

“this point in time” (opposed to past and future), c.1300, “the present time,” also “act or fact of being present; portion of space around someone,” from Old French present (n.) from Latin praesens “being there” (see present (adj.)). In old legalese, these presents means “these documents.”

c.1200, “thing offered, what is offered or given as a gift,” from Old French present and Medieval Latin presentia, from phrases such as French en present “(to offer) in the presence of,” mettre en present “place before, give,” from Late Latin inpraesent “face to face,” from Latin in re praesenti “in the situation in question,” from praesens “being there” (see present (adj.)), on the notion of “bringing something into someone’s presence.”

present pre·sent (prĭ-zěnt’)
v. pre·sent·ed, pre·sent·ing, pre·sents

To appear or be felt first during birth. Used of the part of the fetus that proceeds first through the birth canal.

To come before a doctor or nurse, as with a medical problem or condition.

To manifest a symptom.


all present and accounted for
at present
for the moment (present)
no time like the present


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