Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

presence

play
noun pres·ence \ˈpre-zən(t)s\

Simple Definition of presence

  • : the fact of being in a particular place : the state of being present

  • : the area that is close to someone

  • : someone or something that is seen or noticed in a particular place, area, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of presence

  1. 1 :  the fact or condition of being present(see 3present)

  2. 2 a :  the part of space within one's immediate vicinity b :  the neighborhood of one of superior especially royal rank

  3. 3 archaic :  company 2a

  4. 4 :  one that is present: as a :  the actual person or thing that is present b :  something present of a visible or concrete nature

  5. 5 a :  the bearing, carriage, or air of a person; especially :  stately or distinguished bearing b :  a noteworthy quality of poise and effectiveness <the actor's commanding presence>

  6. 6 :  something (as a spirit) felt or believed to be present

Examples of presence in a sentence

  1. Bacteria sense their neighbors and respond to the presence of others in the colony by exchanging small molecules and bits of proteins called peptides … —Susan Gaidos, Science News, 17 Jan. 2009

  2. Though because it is a seaside town, there are more people now that it's summer. … As well, their presence means that our few restaurants—dark through the snowy months—are open now, their lights burning merrily into the summer evenings. —Richard Ford, Wall Street Journal, 14-15 June 2008

  3. The two authors suggest that war is better understood as a form of play than as a place of business, that Clausewitzian theory collapses into absurdity in the presence of atomic weapons. —Lewis H. Lapham, Harper's, September 2007

  4. <men should watch their language when in the presence of ladies>

  5. <the orchestra's musical director has a very stately presence>



Origin and Etymology of presence

(see 3present)


First Known Use: 14th century



PRESENCE Defined for Kids

presence

play
noun pres·ence \ˈpre-zəns\

Definition of presence for Students

  1. 1 :  the fact or condition of being in a certain place <No one noticed the stranger's presence.>

  2. 2 :  position close to a person <The child is shy in the presence of strangers.>

  3. 3 :  a person's appearance or manner <The actor has great presence on stage.>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up presence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a jerking and twitching of the body

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

two-chairs-on-a-pier-by-the-ocean-in-summer

Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?

estival hiemal vernal brumal
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ