View synonyms for present



[ prez-uhnt ]


  1. being, existing, or occurring at this time or now; current:

    increasing respect for the present ruler of the small country.

    Synonyms: extant

    Antonyms: absent

  2. at this time; at hand; immediate:

    articles for present use.

  3. Grammar. designating a verb tense, construction, or form used to refer to an action or state occurring at the time of speaking or writing: knows is a present form in He knows that.
  4. being with one or others or in the specified or understood place:

    to be present at the wedding.

  5. being here:

    Is everyone present?

  6. existing or occurring in a place, thing, combination, or the like:

    Carbon is present in many minerals.

  7. being actually here or under consideration:

    the present document;

    the present topic.

  8. being in the mind; recollected:

    The memories were still present to her mind.

  9. focused on or involved in what one is doing at a particular moment; attentive:

    When you’re talking to someone, be present instead of thinking about something else.

  10. Obsolete. mentally alert and calm, especially in emergencies.
  11. Obsolete. immediate or instant:

    present payment.


  1. the present time:

    She has one foot in the present and one foot in the future.

  2. 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 . . . .

  3. Obsolete. the matter in hand.



[ verb pri-zent; noun prez-uhnt ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to furnish or endow with a gift or the like, especially by formal act:

    to present someone with a gold watch.

    Synonyms: donate, bestow

  2. to bring, offer, or give, often in a formal or ceremonious way:

    You'll have to present your passport at the airport.

    Synonyms: proffer

  3. afford or furnish (an opportunity, possibility, etc.).

    Synonyms: return, provide, produce

  4. to hand over or submit, as a bill or a check, for payment:

    The waiter presented our bill for lunch.

  5. to introduce (a person) to another, especially in a formal manner:

    Mrs. Smith, may I present Mr. Jones?

  6. to bring before or introduce to the public:

    to present a new play.

  7. to come to show (oneself) before a person, at a place, etc.
  8. to show or exhibit:

    This theater will present films on a larger screen.

  9. to bring forth or render for or before another or others; offer for consideration:

    to present an alternative plan.

    Synonyms: introduce

  10. to set forth in words; frame or articulate:

    to present arguments.

  11. to represent, impersonate, or act, as on the stage.

    Synonyms: enact

  12. to direct, point, or turn (something) to something or someone:

    He presented his back to the audience.

  13. to level or aim (a weapon, especially a firearm).
  14. Law.
    1. to bring against, as a formal charge against a person.
    2. to bring formally to the notice of the proper authority, as an offense.
  15. British Ecclesiastical. to offer or recommend (a member of the clergy) to the bishop to be granted a benefice.

verb (used without object)

  1. Medicine/Medical.
    1. (of a fetus) to be visible at the cervix during labor:

      In a normal delivery, the baby’s head presents first.

    2. (of a medical condition) to be evident from the presence of certain symptoms:

      Depression often presents with disturbed sleep or appetite.

    3. (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.


  1. a thing presented as a gift; gift:

    Christmas presents.

    Synonyms: gratuity, tip, benefaction, donation, offering, grant



/ ˈprɛzənt /


  1. prenominal in existence at the moment in time at which an utterance is spoken or written
  2. postpositive being in a specified place, thing, etc

    the murderer is present in this room

  3. prenominal now in consideration or under discussion

    the present author

    the present topic

  4. 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
  5. archaic.
    readily available; instant

    present help is at hand

  6. archaic.
    mentally alert; attentive


  1. the present
    the time being; now
  2. grammar
    1. the present tense
    2. a verb in this tense
  3. at present
    at the moment; now
  4. for the present
    for the time being; temporarily




  1. to introduce (a person) to another, esp to someone of higher rank
  2. to introduce to the public

    to present a play

  3. to introduce and compere (a radio or television show)
  4. to show; exhibit

    he presented a brave face to the world

  5. to put forward; submit

    she presented a proposal for a new book

  6. to bring or suggest to the mind

    to present a problem

  7. to give or award

    to present a prize

  8. to endow with or as if with a gift or award

    to present a university with a foundation scholarship

  9. to offer formally

    to present one's compliments

  10. to offer or hand over for action or settlement

    to present a bill

  11. to represent or depict in a particular manner

    the actor presented Hamlet as a very young man

  12. to salute someone with (one's weapon) (usually in the phrase present arms )
  13. to aim or point (a weapon)
  14. to nominate (a clergyman) to a bishop for institution to a benefice in his diocese
  15. to lay (a charge, etc) before a court, magistrate, etc, for consideration or trial
  16. to bring a formal charge or accusation against (a person); indict
  17. (of a grand jury) to take notice of (an offence) from personal knowledge or observation, before any bill of indictment has been drawn up
  18. intr med to seek treatment for a particular symptom or problem

    she presented with postnatal depression

  19. informal.
    intr to produce a favourable, etc impression

    she presents well in public

    he presents as harmless but has poisoned his family

  20. present oneself
    to appear, esp at a specific time and place


  1. anything that is presented; a gift
  2. make someone a present of something
    to give someone something

    I'll make you a present of a new car

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Other Words From

  • pres·ent·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of present1

First recorded in 1250–1300; (for the adjective) from Middle English present(e), presa(u)nt, from Old French present, from Latin praesent-, stem of praesēns “being present,” present participle of praeesse “to be present, be before others, preside, be in charge”; (for the noun) from Middle English present(e), presant “presence (in space or time),” partly derivative of the adjective, partly from Old French; pre-, essence

Origin of present2

First recorded 1200–50; Middle English noun present(e), presant, from Old French present, originally in phrase en present “in presence”; Middle English verb presenten, present(e), from Old French presenter, from Medieval Latin praesentāre “to give, show, present for approval,” Latin: “to exhibit (to the mind or senses),” derivative of praesēns; present 1

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Word History and Origins

Origin of present1

C13: from Latin praesens, from praeesse to be in front of, from prae- before, in front + esse to be

Origin of present2

C13: from Old French presenter, from Latin praesentāre to exhibit, offer, from praesens present 1

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. at present, at the present time or moment; now:

    There are no job openings here at present.

  2. for the present, for now; temporarily:

    For the present, we must be content with matters as they stand.

More idioms and phrases containing present

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

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Synonym Study

See give. Present, gift, donation, bonus refer to something freely given. Present and gift are both used of something given as an expression of affection, friendship, interest, or respect. Present is the less formal; gift is generally used of something conferred (especially with ceremony) on an individual, a group, or an institution: a birthday present; a gift to a bride. Donation applies to an important gift, most often of money and usually of considerable size, though the term is often used in speaking of small gifts to or for people who need help: a donation to an endowment fund, to the Red Cross. Bonus applies to something, again usually money, given in addition to what is due, especially to employees who have worked for a long time or particularly well: a bonus at the end of the year.

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Example Sentences

In his view, a writer has only one duty: to be present in his books.

Angelina Jolie was able to seemingly glide into the Vatican on Thursday to present her new film ‘Unbroken.’

Disordered eating is also linked to higher rates of depression and anxiety, both in the present and in the future.

In the middle of all of that past suffering and present-day conflict, this Cosby bomb was dropped.

The account goes some way in showing just how present the Quds and other forces are in Iraq at this point in time.

But Mrs. Dodd, the present vicar's wife, retained the precious prerogative of choosing the book to be read at the monthly Dorcas.

The Rev. Alonzo Barnard, seventy-one years of age, accompanied by his daughter, was present.

Several pioneers familiar with the facts of the tragedy at the time of its occurrence were also present.

Bacteria, when present in great numbers, give a uniform cloud which cannot be removed by ordinary filtration.

At present, Louis was too self-absorbed by the struggles within him, to look deep into what was passing around him.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.