present

1 of 4

noun (1)

pres·​ent ˈpre-zᵊnt How to pronounce present (audio)
: something presented : gift

present

2 of 4

verb

pre·​sent pri-ˈzent How to pronounce present (audio)
presented; presenting; presents

transitive verb

1
: to make a gift to
2
: to give or bestow formally
3
a
: to bring (something, such as a play) before the public
b(1)
: to bring or introduce into the presence of someone especially of superior rank or status
(2)
: to introduce socially
4
a
: to offer to view : show
b
: to bring to one's attention
This presents a problem.
5
a
: to lay (something, such as a charge) before a court as an object of inquiry
b
: to bring a formal public charge, indictment, or presentment against
6
: to nominate to a benefice
7
: to aim, point, or direct (something, such as a weapon) so as to face something or in a particular direction
8
: to act the part of : perform

intransitive verb

1
: to make a presentation
2
: to become manifest
3
: to come forward as a patient
4
: to present a weapon

present

3 of 4

adjective

pres·​ent ˈpre-zᵊnt How to pronounce present (audio)
1
: now existing or in progress
2
a
: being in view or at hand
b
: existing in something mentioned or under consideration
3
: constituting the one actually involved, at hand, or being considered
4
: of, relating to, or constituting a verb tense that is expressive of present time or the time of speaking
5
archaic : instant, immediate
6
obsolete : attentive
presentness noun

present

4 of 4

noun (2)

pres·​ent ˈpre-zᵊnt How to pronounce present (audio)
1
: the present time
2
a
: the present tense of a language
b
: a verb form in the present tense
3
a
presents plural : the present words or statements
specifically : the legal instrument or other writing in which these words are used
b
obsolete : present occasion or affair
Phrases
at present
: at or during this time : now
Choose the Right Synonym for present

give, present, donate, bestow, confer, afford mean to convey to another as a possession.

give, the general term, is applicable to any passing over of anything by any means.

give alms
gave her a ride on a pony
give my love to your mother

present carries a note of formality and ceremony.

present an award

donate is likely to imply a publicized giving (as to charity).

donate a piano to the orphanage

bestow implies the conveying of something as a gift and may suggest condescension on the part of the giver.

bestow unwanted advice

confer implies a gracious giving (as of a favor or honor).

confer an honorary degree

afford implies a giving or bestowing usually as a natural or legitimate consequence of the character of the giver.

the trees afford shade
a development that affords us some hope

Examples of present in a Sentence

Noun (1) an impressive array of presents for the bride and groom Verb He presented the queen with a diamond necklace. He was presented with a medal at the ceremony. She presented a check for $5,000 to the charity. The scientist presented his results to the committee. She will be presenting a paper on methods for teaching ESL at the conference. What time will you be presenting? An offer was presented for our consideration. The Main Street Theater Company is presenting Shakespeare's Othello next month. The museum is presenting an exhibition of paintings by Monet. Adjective The game has existed in its present form for more than 300 years. I am very busy at the present moment. Noun (2) I cannot talk to you at present, but perhaps in a few minutes
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Self-sabotage could be an ongoing obstacle at present. Tarot.com, Sun Sentinel, 13 July 2024 At present, watching a piece of foreign language content that’s been dubbed in English is an exercise in discomfort. Matt Donnelly, Variety, 11 July 2024
Verb
Kate has been patron of the All England Club for eight years, and presented the trophies every year since 2016. Caroline Frost, Deadline, 13 July 2024 Most documentaries about legendary stars would sand off its subject’s rough edges and try to present the most hagiography-friendly version imaginable. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 13 July 2024
Adjective
Intercutting past and present, Moore keeps the suspense at a fever pitch amid nuanced portraits of the out-of-touch Van Laars, their hangers-on and the locals who both depend on and resent them. Carly Tagen-Dye, Peoplemag, 14 July 2024 Immersive paranormal experience where past and present collide. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, 14 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for present 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'present.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from presenter

Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French presenter, from Latin praesentare, from praesent-, praesens, adjective

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin praesent-, praesens, from present participle of praeesse to be before one, from prae- pre- + esse to be — more at is

First Known Use

Noun (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3b(1)

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3b

Time Traveler
The first known use of present was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near present

Cite this Entry

“Present.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/present. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

present

1 of 4 noun
pres·​ent ˈprez-ᵊnt How to pronounce present (audio)
: something presented

present

2 of 4 verb
pre·​sent pri-ˈzent How to pronounce present (audio)
1
a
: to introduce one person to another
b
: to bring before the public
present a play
2
: to make a gift to
presented me with a watch
3
: to give or hand over with ceremony
present a medal
4
: to make an accusation against someone
present a charge
5
: to offer to view : display, show
presents a fine appearance
presenter noun

present

3 of 4 adjective
pres·​ent ˈprez-ᵊnt How to pronounce present (audio)
1
: being or going on now : not past or future
the present situation
2
: being before or near a person or in sight : being at a certain place and not elsewhere
all the pupils were present
was present at the ceremony
3
: of, relating to, or being a verb tense that expresses present time or the time of speaking

present

4 of 4 noun
pres·​ent ˈprez-ᵊnt How to pronounce present (audio)
1
b
: a verb form in the present tense
2
: the present time

Medical Definition

present

transitive verb
pre·​sent pri-ˈzent How to pronounce present (audio)
: to show or manifest
patients who present symptoms of malaria

intransitive verb

1
a
: to become manifest
Lyme disease often presents with erythema migrans, fatigue, fever, and chills
b
: to come forward as a patient
he presented with grossly swollen ankles and large varicose veinsT. E. Greene
2
: to become directed toward the opening of the uterus
used of a fetus or a part of a fetus
babies which present by breechYear Book of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Legal Definition

present

1 of 2 transitive verb
pre·​sent pri-ˈzent How to pronounce present (audio)
1
: to lay before a court as an object of consideration
present a complaint
presented a defense of insanity
2
: to make a presentment of (an instrument)
presenter noun

present

2 of 2 adjective
pres·​ent ˈpre-zənt How to pronounce present (audio)
1
: now existing
a present undivided interest in the property
a present ability to pay
2
: constituting the one actually involved or being considered
the present case
3
: being in attendance : being in one place and not elsewhere
no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members presentU.S. Constitution art. I

More from Merriam-Webster on present

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