pre·​sen·​ta·​tion | \ˌprē-ˌzen-ˈtā-shən, ˌpre-zᵊn-, ˌprē-zᵊn- \

Definition of presentation 

1a : the act of presenting

b : the act, power, or privilege especially of a patron of applying to the bishop or ordinary for instituting someone into a benefice

2 : something presented: such as

a : a symbol or image that represents something

b : something offered or given : gift

c : something set forth for the attention of the mind

d : a descriptive or persuasive account (as by a salesman of a product)

e : a symptom or group of symptoms observed or detected upon initial examination or disclosed by a patient to the physician clinical presentation of appendicitis

3 : the position in which the fetus lies in the uterus in labor with respect to the opening of the uterus

4 : an immediate object of perception, cognition, or memory

5 often capitalized : a church feast on November 21 celebrating the presentation of the Virgin Mary in the temple

6 : the method by which radio, navigation, or radar information is given to the operator (such as the pilot of an airplane)

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Other Words from presentation

presentational \ ˌprē-​ˌzen-​ˈtā-​shnəl , -​shə-​nᵊl, ˌpre-​zᵊn-​, ˌprē-​zᵊn-​ \ adjective

Examples of presentation in a Sentence

The charts and graphs helped me understand the presentation. She will take your questions after she has made her presentation. The senior accountant gave a presentation at the meeting. The presentation of the food made it look very appetizing. The choir sang during the presentation of the gifts.
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Recent Examples on the Web

For the last few seasons Joseph, formerly a runway regular at London Fashion Week, had faded from the schedule into the painful purgatory of showroom presentations—and with no satisfactory rationale to explain the decline. Luke Leitch, Vogue, "Lacoste Appoints Louise Trotter as Creative Director," 4 Oct. 2018 But SfN is hosting thousands of presentations over the next five days. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "The Heroes of Science Who Are Unlocking the Brain," 3 Oct. 2018 The durability of these tribes’ signature presentations is astonishing in an age of jeans and T-shirts. Hanya Yanagihara, Condé Nast Traveler, "50 Things to Do in Asia Before You Die," 24 Sep. 2018 Like so many other categories this year, this presentation will be a nail-biter to watch. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "See If Your 2018 Emmy Predictions Match Up With the Projected Winners," 17 Sep. 2018 The theme of the academic presentations at this year’s conference will call attention to a long-running conversation about the economic effects of increasing corporate concentration and waning competition. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "What to Watch for at Fed’s Jackson Hole Symposium," 23 Aug. 2018 The night culminated with the Boys and Girls Athlete of the Year award presentations, which went to Tyson Jones of Goodyear Desert Edge and Brooke Nuneviller of Tempe Corona del Sol. Clevis Murray, azcentral, "Top Arizona high school athletes honored at azcentral Sports Awards," 10 June 2018 The two-day event has a packed lineup of presentations and events, including the biggest money-maker on Friday night — live and silent auctions with professional auctioneer Dan Newman of Alaska Premier Auctions and Appraisals in Anchorage. Laine Welch, Anchorage Daily News, "Hagfish study looks at potential of ‘slime eels’ to become a new fishery for Alaska," 5 June 2018 This was a fun-loving crowd and not an out-of-control throng squaring off with armored police, to offer a flashback image of old-school Carb Day presentations by Kid Rock and Stone Temple Pilots. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Carb Day: Years melt away for beautiful party to kick off Indianapolis 500 weekend," 25 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'presentation.' 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 presentation

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for presentation

The first known use of presentation was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for presentation



English Language Learners Definition of presentation

: an activity in which someone shows, describes, or explains something to a group of people

: the way in which something is arranged, designed, etc. : the way in which something is presented

: the act of giving something to someone in a formal way or in a ceremony


pre·​sen·​ta·​tion | \ˌprē-ˌzen-ˈtā-shən, ˌpre-zᵊn-\

Kids Definition of presentation

1 : an act of showing, describing, or explaining something to a group of people

2 : an act of giving a gift or award

3 : something given


pre·​sen·​ta·​tion | \ˌprē-ˌzen-ˈtā-shən, ˌprez-ᵊn- \

Medical Definition of presentation 

1 : the position in which the fetus lies in the uterus in labor with respect to the opening of the uterus face presentation a breech presentation

2 : appearance in conscious experience either as a sensory product or as a memory image

3 : a presenting symptom or group of symptoms clinical presentation of arthritis

4 : a formal oral report of a patient's medical history

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Comments on presentation

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by force of circumstances

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