noun pres·ence \ ˈpre-zᵊn(t)s \
|Updated on: 16 Aug 2018

Definition of presence

1 : the fact or condition of being present (see 3present)
2 a : the part of space within one's immediate vicinity
b : the neighborhood of one of superior especially royal rank
3 archaic : company 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
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 : something (such 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 GaidosScience News17 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 FordWall Street Journal14-15 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. LaphamHarper'sSeptember 2007
  4. men should watch their language when in the presence of ladies

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

Recent Examples of presence from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of presence

PRESENCE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of presence for English Language Learners

  • : 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.

PRESENCE Defined for Kids


noun pres·ence \ ˈpre-zᵊns \

Definition of presence for Students

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.

Seen and Heard

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