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 The presence of this program, and availability of its branding, should significantly accelerate manufacturers' efforts to provide Wi-Fi 6 devices, as well as routers. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Say hello to 802.11ax: Wi-Fi 6 device certification begins today," 16 Sep. 2019 Still, most of her work has been behind the scenes — an enormous presence inside the organization, little known outside of it., "For “the brotherhood” and for the sport, Ferreira’s elevated status within the transition team – membership in the Red Sox “Gang of Four,” Afterman joked, with a nod to the leaders of China’s Cultural Revolution — marks an enormous development.," 14 Sep. 2019 One thread that runs through many of these new terrifying additions is the presence of a strong female lead character. Glamour, "15 Scary Movies Starring Women You Must Watch This Halloween," 13 Sep. 2019 What helped tremendously was the frequent presence of Carin Poole, who served as the team mom. Mick Mccabe, Detroit Free Press, "Deaf Michigan high school football player captains his team, dominates opponents," 12 Sep. 2019 Taylor was a beaming presence in the clubhouse, and clearly Oakland wanted him back. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "Athletics re-claim catcher from Toronto Blue Jays," 10 Sep. 2019 American troops have been a constant presence in Afghanistan since the weeks after the 9/11 attacks — about 2,400 Americans have been killed in Afghanistan and 14,000 American troops remain in the country. Ben Kamisar, NBC News, "Pompeo warns conditions 'are about to get worse' for the Taliban," 8 Sep. 2019 Like Oracene Price, Maria is a stoic, supportive presence in the player’s box. Horacio Silva, Town & Country, "Bianca Andreescu's Mom Maria is the Breakout Star of the U.S. Open," 6 Sep. 2019 Brugger, 59, was a highly visible presence outside the federal courthouse in Portland during the 2016 trial of Ammon Bundy, who led the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Bend Bulletin,, "Oregon child abuse defendant removed from own trial during ugly scene; jury takes 8 minutes to convict," 28 Aug. 2019

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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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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Comments on presence

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


concealed or difficult to comprehend

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