pres·​ence ˈpre-zᵊn(t)s How to pronounce presence (audio)
: the fact or condition of being present (see present entry 3)
: the part of space within one's immediate vicinity
: the neighborhood of one of superior especially royal rank
archaic : company sense 2a
: one that is present: such as
: the actual person or thing that is present
: something present of a visible or concrete nature
: the bearing, carriage, or air of a person
especially : stately or distinguished bearing
: a noteworthy quality of poise and effectiveness
the actor's commanding presence
: something (such as a spirit) felt or believed to be present

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
Recent Examples on the Web So the presence of high levels of influenza A in wastewater from now through the end of the summer could be a reliable indicator that something unusual is going on in a particular area. Megan Molteni and Helen Branswell, STAT, 13 May 2024 In the streets of Little Village, Hernandez’s presence serves as a beacon of hope, reminding others that peace is possible — even in the darkest of times. Laura Rodríguez Presa, Chicago Tribune, 13 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for presence 

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

Word History


see present entry 3

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of presence was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near presence

Cite this Entry

“Presence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


pres·​ence ˈprez-ᵊn(t)s How to pronounce presence (audio)
: the fact or state of being present
no one noticed the stranger's presence
: position close to a person
in the presence of a guest
: a person's appearance
a stately presence
: something felt or believed to be present
a ghostly presence

More from Merriam-Webster on presence

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