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

Synonyms for present

1. extant.

Synonym study

1. See current.

Antonyms for present

1. absent.


[verb pri-zent; noun prez-uhnt]

verb (used with object)

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

verb (used without object)

  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.

noun pres·ent [prez-uhnt] /ˈprɛz ənt/

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

Origin of present

1175–1225; (noun) Middle English < Old French, orig. in phrase en present in presence (see present1); (v.) Middle English presenten < Old French presenter < Medieval Latin praesentāre to give, show, present for approval, Latin: to exhibit (to the mind or senses), derivative of praesēns present1
Related formsself-pre·sent·ed, adjectiveun·pre·sent·ed, adjective

Synonyms for present

Synonym study

1. See give. 5. See introduce. 17. 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 to avoid the suggestion of charity in speaking of small gifts to or for the needy: 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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for presents

Contemporary Examples of presents

Historical Examples of presents

  • Instead, it presents, what all too few of us to-day possess, a philosophy of life.

  • All the second story had been prepared for guests and presents.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Peter was not in the habit of making her presents of flowers.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

  • Besides the great feast, presents were given to all present, high and low.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

  • This is quite as much why they make him presents, as because they know him to be needy.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

British Dictionary definitions for presents


pl n

law used in a deed or document to refer to itselfknow all men by these presents




(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 presents



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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for presents




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 presents


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.