Definition of presence in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈprɛz(ə)ns/


[mass noun]
1The state or fact of existing, occurring, or being present: my presence in the flat made her happy the presence of chlorine in the atmosphere the memorial was unveiled in the presence of 24 veterans
More example sentences
  • It was moments like that when I savoured his presence, enjoyed the fact that we were together and we were happy.
  • The fact he could utter the word in the presence of his most deadly enemies says much about the Christian upbringing of the man.
  • Then, oddly comforted by his presence, she starts to seek out his company.
existence, being there
attendance, attending, appearance, residence, occupancy;
company, companionship
informal turning up, showing, showing up
1.1 [count noun] A person or thing that exists or is present in a place but is not seen: the monks became aware of a strange presence
More example sentences
  • She was feeling quite lost now, all these people talking about strange presences.
  • In my time this had become two bedrooms and a bathroom with an oddly shaped passage, and anybody who slept there remarked on strange presences.
  • She interviews her for a book that she hopes will make Alison famous, but their voices on tape are often drowned out by the spirit presences that jostle around them.
ghost, spirit, spectre, phantom, vision, wraith, shadow, poltergeist, manifestation, apparition, supernatural being;
Scottish & Irish  bodach;
West Indian  duppy
informal spook
literary shade, visitant, revenant
archaic eidolon
1.2 [in singular] A group of people, especially soldiers or police, stationed in a particular place: the US would maintain a presence in the Indian Ocean region
More example sentences
  • He said that provided a police presence was maintained in the centre, the project could be beneficial.
  • I wouldn't object to the cameras so much if there was a police presence to crack down on other motoring offences.
  • Yet it remains just as true that most people feel more secure when the police have a visible presence on the streets.
1.3The impressive manner or appearance of a person: Richard was not a big man but his presence was overwhelming
More example sentences
  • Sol is not a big talker on the field, but his physical presence and calm manner reassure others.
  • He's got a real physical presence - his chest is puffed up and it feels like he's taking up too much space.
  • They have a great physical presence and they made that tell on this occasion.
bearing, carriage, stance, deportment, comportment, attitude, posture, manner, air, guise;
demeanour, mien, behaviour, conduct, dignified air/demeanour, dignified bearing, dignity
aura, charisma, personality, strength/force of personality, individuality, magnetism, attraction;
poise, self-assurance, self-possession, self-confidence



make one's presence felt

see make oneself felt at feel.
Example sentences
  • Janet Evans made her presence felt in and out of the pool.
  • If you invite them, they will make their presence felt.

presence of mind

Pronunciation: /ˌprɛzns əv ˈmʌɪnd/
The ability to remain calm and take quick, sensible action: he had the presence of mind to record the scene on video
More example sentences
  • Despite their serious injuries, the men remained calm - one even had the presence of mind to make a joke.
  • But if we stay sensible and keep our presence of mind we can meet the challenges ahead.
  • So in the final analysis, it seems that the ability to maintain one's presence of mind in the face of danger is a primary issue.
composure, equanimity, self-possession, level-headedness, aplomb, poise, assurance, self-assurance, self-control, nerve, calmness, sangfroid, countenance, collectedness, imperturbability;
alertness, quickness, quick-wittedness
informal cool, unflappability


Middle English: via Old French from Latin praesentia 'being at hand', from the verb praeesse (see present1).

Words that rhyme with presence

omnipresence, pleasance

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pres|ence

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