Definition of historic present in English:

historic present

Line breaks: his|tor¦ic pres|ent


[mass noun] Grammar
  • The present tense used instead of the past in vivid narrative, especially in titles, such as ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, and informally in speech, e.g. ‘so I say to him’.
    More example sentences
    • It includes historic present, but for the moment no attempt is made to identify instances of this.
    • In Bell's opinion the historic present in English is an exciting, but unusual, narrative strategy.
    • This might only be a literary device or literary preference, since use of the historic present vivifies the action.

More definitions of historic present

Definition of historic present in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrə(ʊ)ˈgeɪʃ(ə)n
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space