pres·​ence | \ ˈpre-zᵊn(t)s How to pronounce presence (audio) \

Definition of presence

1 : the fact or condition of being present (see present entry 3)
2a : the part of space within one's immediate vicinity
b : the neighborhood of one of superior especially royal rank
3 archaic : company sense 2a
4 : one that is present: such as
a : the actual person or thing that is present
b : something present of a visible or concrete nature
5a : 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 : something (such as a spirit) felt or believed to be present

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Synonyms for presence


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Examples of presence in a Sentence

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 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 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 men should watch their language when in the presence of ladies the orchestra's musical director has a very stately presence
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Recent Examples on the Web Victims’ relatives had earlier objected to Biden’s presence at ceremonial events as long as the documents remained classified., 11 Sep. 2021 With a presence at more than 60 collegiate and professional stadiums nationwide, game day experience company REVELXP is expanding on the turnkey tailgating concept this season and fans are responding enthusiastically. Kristi Dosh, Forbes, 11 Sep. 2021 Law Director Luke McConville, who did not attend Thursday’s council meeting, said the following day that Police Chief Dustin Rogers confirmed that the police department and Jewish Federation were told of the private investigator’s presence. cleveland, 11 Sep. 2021 These molecular tests amplify genetic material many times over in order to detect the virus’s presence. Catherine Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Sep. 2021 The coin’s presence suggests that Jelling, known to be a cradle of the Viking civilization between the 8th and 12th centuries, was a center of power with trade links across the European continent, according to Artnet News. Tara Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 Sep. 2021 And then it’s Rory’s presence that brings them back together and unifies them, not only as a couple, but as parents. Marisa Roffman, Variety, 10 Sep. 2021 Duke countered with strong play from Jake Ducharme 14 points, Jett Yurgealitis 14 points and the strong inside presence from Jordan Nissan. Emmett Hall,, 10 Sep. 2021 Scent is a paradox, sensual yet intangible, a physical presence without a physical form. New York Times, 10 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'presence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of presence

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for presence

see present entry 3

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Time Traveler for presence

Time Traveler

The first known use of presence was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near presence



presence chamber

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Statistics for presence

Last Updated

13 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Presence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for presence



English Language Learners 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.


pres·​ence | \ ˈpre-zᵊns How to pronounce presence (audio) \

Kids Definition of presence

1 : the fact or condition of being in a certain place No one noticed the stranger's presence.
2 : position close to a person The child is shy in the presence of strangers.
3 : a person's appearance or manner The actor has great presence on stage.

More from Merriam-Webster on presence

Nglish: Translation of presence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of presence for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about presence


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