[ prez-uhns ]
See synonyms for presence on
  1. the state or fact of being present, as with others or in a place.

  2. attendance or company: Your presence is requested.

  1. immediate vicinity; proximity: in the presence of witnesses.

  2. the military or economic power of a country as reflected abroad by the stationing of its troops, sale of its goods, etc.: the American military presence in Europe;the Japanese presence in the U.S. consumer market.

  3. Chiefly British. the immediate personal vicinity of a great personage giving audience or reception: summoned to her presence.

  4. the ability to project a sense of ease, poise, or self-assurance, especially the quality or manner of a person's bearing before an audience: The speaker had a good deal of stage presence.

  5. personal appearance or bearing, especially of a dignified or imposing kind: a man of fine presence.

  6. a person, especially of noteworthy appearance or compelling personality: He is a real presence, even at a private party.

  7. a divine or supernatural spirit felt to be present: He felt a presence with him in the room.

  8. British Obsolete. presence chamber.

Origin of presence

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin praesentia; see present1, -ence

Other words for presence

Opposites for presence

Other words from presence

  • non·pres·ence, noun

Words Nearby presence Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use presence in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for presence


/ (ˈprɛzəns) /

  1. the state or fact of being present

  2. the immediate proximity of a person or thing

  1. personal appearance or bearing, esp of a dignified nature

  2. an imposing or dignified personality

  3. an invisible spirit felt to be nearby

  4. electronics a recording control that boosts mid-range frequencies

  5. (of a recording) a quality that gives the impression that the listener is in the presence of the original source of the sound

  6. obsolete assembly or company

  7. obsolete short for presence chamber

Origin of presence

C14: via Old French from Latin praesentia a being before, from praeesse to be before, from prae before + esse to be

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