Nearby words

  1. presence chamber,
  2. presence of mind,
  3. presenile,
  4. presenile dementia,
  5. presenility,
  6. present arms,
  7. present participle,
  8. present perfect,
  9. present progressive,
  10. present value


    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.

Origin of present

1250–1300; (adj.) Middle English < Old French < Latin praesent- (stem of praesēns) present participle of praeësse to be present, before others, i.e., to preside, be in charge; (noun) Middle English: presence, spatial or temporal present; partly derivative of the adj., partly < Old French. See pre-, is, -ent

Related formspres·ent·ness, noun

Synonym study

1. See current. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for at present




(prenominal) in existence at the moment in time at which an utterance is spoken or written
(postpositive) being in a specified place, thing, etcthe murderer is present in this room
(prenominal) now in consideration or under discussionthe 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; instantpresent help is at hand
archaic mentally alert; attentive


the present the time being; now
  1. the present tense
  2. a verb in this tense
at present at the moment; now
for the present for the time being; temporarily
See also presents

Word Origin for present

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



verb (prɪˈzɛnt) (mainly tr)

to introduce (a person) to another, esp to someone of higher rank
to introduce to the publicto present a play
to introduce and compere (a radio or television show)
to show; exhibithe presented a brave face to the world
to put forward; submitshe presented a proposal for a new book
to bring or suggest to the mindto present a problem
to give or awardto present a prize
to endow with or as if with a gift or awardto present a university with a foundation scholarship
to offer formallyto present one's compliments
to offer or hand over for action or settlementto present a bill
to represent or depict in a particular mannerthe 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
(intr) med to seek treatment for a particular symptom or problemshe presented with postnatal depression
(intr) informal to produce a favourable, etc impressionshe 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 somethingI'll make you a present of a new car

Word Origin for present

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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for at present
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for at present




To appear or be felt first during birth. Used of the part of the fetus that proceeds first through the birth canal.
To place oneself in the presence of a doctor or other medical provider as a patient with a complaint or condition.
To manifest a symptom.
To attach or be capable of attaching to a cell surface, especially for detection by other molecules.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with at present

at present

Also, at the present time. Now, as in I've not enough cash at present to lend you any, or At present the house is still occupied. This slightly longer way of saying “at this time” formerly was even longer— at this present or at that present—denoting a more specific time. [Mid-1600s] Also see at this point.


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

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