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 But unlike those who left the city denying Trump supporters’ involvement in storming the Capitol building and presence inside, Stuchell said that’s not true. Ashley Nerbovig, Detroit Free Press, "United by disinformation, Trump's supporters share dueling accounts of Jan. 6 insurrection," 10 Jan. 2021 In another parallel to Betts, Lindor’s clubhouse presence is that of a leader by example who prioritizes daily competitiveness. Globe Staff,, "Mets’ deal for Francisco Lindor had look of Betts-to-Dodgers trade," 9 Jan. 2021 In anticipation of possible violence as threats have rippled through far-right forums ahead of the protests, D.C.'s mayor mobilized the National Guard and increased police presence on the city's streets. NBC News, "Warnock's projected win in Georgia brings Dems closer to Senate control," 6 Jan. 2021 Human-rights groups allege that the National Militia’s public presence is expressly designed to discourage liberal protest and intimidate civil society, charges Mikhailenko denies. Aris Roussinos, Harpers Magazine, "The Armies of the Right," 5 Jan. 2021 Regardless of whether Shaquil Barrett re-signs, Tampa Bay should look to invest in another edge presence. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "NFL mock draft 2021: Justin Fields, Zach Wilson among five QBs in first-round projection," 5 Jan. 2021 There will be no active-duty military troops in the city, and the military will not provide additional assistance beyond a National Guard member presence. Tyler Van Dyke, Washington Examiner, "DC activates more than 300 National Guard troops ahead of pro-Trump protests," 4 Jan. 2021 Elliott played with a physical presence the running back position commands. Calvin Watkins, Dallas News, "Why there should be no questions about Ezekiel Elliott’s status as the Cowboys’ top RB after 2020 season," 3 Jan. 2021 The congregation established a presence in America and New York in the mid-1800s. Mihir Zaveri, New York Times, "9 Sisters at Upstate Convent Die as Outbreak Infects 47," 3 Jan. 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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Statistics for presence

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Presence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for presence


How to pronounce presence (audio)

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.

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