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historical present

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noun Grammar.
  1. the present tense used in narrating a past event as if happening at the time of narration.
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Origin of historical present

First recorded in 1960–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for historical present

historical present

noun
  1. the present tense used to narrate past events, usually employed in English for special effect or in informal use, as in a week ago I'm walking down the street and I see this accident
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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