• More from M-W
  • To save this word, you'll need to log in. Log In

Definition of present

 (Entry 1 of 4)

Definition of present  (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

intransitive verb

Definition of present  (Entry 3 of 4)

Definition of present  (Entry 4 of 4)

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.

present carries a note of formality and ceremony.

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

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

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

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

Example Sentences

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'present.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback .

Word History

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from presenter

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

13th century, in the meaning defined above

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Phrases Containing present

Articles Related to present

light blue gift box on light blue background

We Got You This Article on 'Gift' vs....

We Got You This Article on 'Gift' vs. 'Present'

And yes, 'gift' is a verb.

Dictionary Entries Near present


Cite this Entry

“Present.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/present. Accessed 5 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition

Kids definition of present.

Kids Definition of present  (Entry 2 of 4)

Kids Definition of present  (Entry 3 of 4)

Kids Definition of present  (Entry 4 of 4)

Medical Definition

Medical definition of present, legal definition, legal definition of present.

 (Entry 1 of 2)

Legal Definition of present  (Entry 2 of 2)

More from Merriam-Webster on present

Nglish: Translation of present for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of present for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about present

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Word of the Day

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

A Good Old-Fashioned Quiz

butter churn

Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

apricity heart in the sand warm sun

'Hiemal,' 'brumation,' & other rare wintry words

alt 5ade0f1ca7a0c

The distinction between the two is clear (now).


Don't be surprised if none of them want the spotl...

merriam webster time traveler

Look up any year to find out

video moose goose weird plurals

One goose, two geese. One moose, two... moose. Wh...

video irregardless grammar peeve blend of the synonyms irrespective and regardless

It is in fact a real word (but that doesn't mean ...

bring vs take video

Both words imply motion, but the difference may b...

video defenesetration

The fascinating story behind many people's favori...


Can you handle the (barometric) pressure?

Take the quiz


Who’s who of the zoo crew

Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it cal...

winning words from the national spelling bee logo

Can you outdo past winners of the National Spelli...

Cambridge Dictionary

Meaning of present in English

Your browser doesn't support HTML5 audio

present noun ( SOMETHING GIVEN )

Want to learn more?

Improve your vocabulary with English Vocabulary in Use from Cambridge. Learn the words you need to communicate with confidence.

present noun ( NOW )

You can also find related words, phrases, and synonyms in the topics:

present adjective ( IN A PLACE )

present adjective ( NOW )

present verb ( GIVE )

present verb ( INTRODUCE )

present verb ( SHOW SIGNS OF ILLNESS )

present | Intermediate English

Present adjective [not gradable] ( grammar ), present adjective [not gradable] ( place ), present verb [t] ( provide ), present verb [t] ( cause ), present verb [t] ( introduce ), present | business english, examples of present, translations of present.

Get a quick, free translation!


Word of the Day

a person whose job is to supply and connect or repair water pipes, baths, toilets, etc.

Watch your back! Idioms with the word ‘back’

Watch your back! Idioms with the word ‘back’

social omnivore

Learn more with +Plus

Add present to one of your lists below, or create a new one.


Something went wrong.

There was a problem sending your report.


Opposites for present, video for present, do you give presents or gifts.

It's that time of year again! Which will you be giving, gifts or presents? Speak without worry, because the giving of both presents and gifts are incredibly welcome this holiday season. ****Add yoast images.

Idioms about present

Origin of present, other words from present, words nearby present, other definitions for present (2 of 2).

synonym study for present

Words related to present, how to use present in a sentence.

We’re pleased to be present in so many relationships this year, even more so than before.

Republicans, by many accounts, aren’t even considering the arguments being present ed in the trial.

We should request that staff conduct a feasibility study and to present the results of that study to this committee by the end of the year.

In five years of Insights puzzles, we’ve tried to present questions that lived up to the column’s name.

He was a tough guy, but also admired and respected by his players and most in the media, present company included.

In his view, a writer has only one duty: to be present in his books.

Angelina Jolie was able to seemingly glide into the Vatican on Thursday to present her new film ‘Unbroken.’

Disordered eating is also linked to higher rates of depression and anxiety, both in the present and in the future.

In the middle of all of that past suffering and present -day conflict, this Cosby bomb was dropped.

The account goes some way in showing just how present the Quds and other forces are in Iraq at this point in time.

But Mrs. Dodd, the present vicar's wife, retained the precious prerogative of choosing the book to be read at the monthly Dorcas.

The Rev. Alonzo Barnard, seventy-one years of age, accompanied by his daughter, was present .

Several pioneers familiar with the facts of the tragedy at the time of its occurrence were also present .

Bacteria, when present in great numbers, give a uniform cloud which cannot be removed by ordinary filtration.

At present , Louis was too self-absorbed by the struggles within him, to look deep into what was passing around him.

British Dictionary definitions for present (1 of 2)

Word Origin for present

British dictionary definitions for present (2 of 2), other idioms and phrases with present.

see all present and accounted for; at present; for the moment (present); no time like the present.

Look up a word, learn it forever.

presented; presents; presenting

The word present has multiple meanings, most of which concern giving (a present is a gift) or time (the present is right now).

The verb present might mean to deliver something like a speech, or perform something like a play. On formal occasions, when we present someone, we introduce them, usually to a group or to the public. Present might also mean "to submit" or "hand over." In grammar, the present tense expresses actions or states occurring at the time we're speaking of them, that is to say, at this moment.

Look up present for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

Sign up now (it’s free!)

Whether you’re a teacher or a learner, vocabulary.com can put you or your class on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement..

present meaning of

present   ​Definitions and Synonyms ​ ‌ ‌ ‌

Hannah was the guest of honor and presented the prizes .

We are very pleased to have been presented with this prestigious award .

Finally the mayor presented the medals to the winners .

It was argued that the group ’s activities presented a threat to national security .

Despite its free-market reforms , the country still presents foreign investors with a challenge .

The task should present no difficulty for someone with her experience .

The commission presented its report in October.

Barnes subsequently presented the case to a meeting of the joint subcommittee .

The movie presents a disturbing image of youth culture .

Statistics can be used to challenge theories that are presented as facts .

In the early days of the election he sought to present himself as a family man.

Next week the theater presents Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen .

Miss Abbott, may I present the author Anne Rice ?

They hovered around, hoping to be presented to the celebrities .

The soldiers stopped them and said they must present their papers .

He presented his passport to the guard for inspection .

He has asked me to present his apologies for his absence .

Children presenting with respiratory infections were given chest x-rays.

American definition and synonyms of present from the online English dictionary from Macmillan Education.

This is the American English definition of present . View British English definition of present .

Change your default dictionary to British English.

View the pronunciation for present .

Trending Words

Synonyms of the month.

© Getty Images/Denis Tevekov/Blend Images

An Encylopedia Britannica Company

— presenter

all present and accounted for

present company excepted/excluded

present writer

pres·ent  1

Pre·sent  2, pres•ent 1, pre•sent 2.

You use present in front of a noun to show that you are talking about something that exists now, rather than about something in the past or future.

You also use present in front of a noun to show that you are talking about the person who has a job, role, or title now, rather than someone who had it in the past or will have it in the future.

When present is used after be , it has a different meaning. If someone is present at an event, they are there.

Be Careful! Don't use any preposition except at in sentences like these. Don't say, for example ' Several reporters were present in the event '.

If it is clear what event you are talking about, you can just say that someone is present .

You can also use present with this meaning immediately after a noun.

Image of present

More results

Image of fridge

Explore topics


From the century dictionary..

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.


From wiktionary, creative commons attribution/share-alike license.

present meaning of

Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word present .

[Footnote: If the present ends in _e_, the _e_ is dropped when _ed_ is added; as, lov_e_, lov_ed_; believ_e_, believ_ed_.] +An _Irregular Verb_ is one that does not form its past tense and past participle by adding _ed_ to the present+.

Graded Lessons in English an Elementary English Grammar Consisting of One Hundred Practical Lessons, Carefully Graded and Adapted to the Class-Room

The pronoun _I_ should always be capitalized, and should, when used as part of a compound subject, be placed second; as, _James and I were present , not I and James were present_.

Practical Grammar and Composition

+ -- _He promised me a present = A present was promised me_ (regular) = _I was promised a present_ (idiomatic).

Higher Lessons in English A work on english grammar and composition

"Well," she said, "that's all -- at present "; it had suddenly occurred to her that apprehension was a good thing; "_at present_," she repeated darkly; "and Blair, remember; thieves go to hell."

The Iron Woman

All that you mean to say, therefore, is that the present state of the system is defined by equations into which differential coefficients enter, such as _ds_ | _dt_, _dv_ | _dt_, that is to say, at bottom, _present_ velocities and _present_ accelerations.

Evolution créatrice. English

The principal parts of the Latin verb are the _first person singular of the present indicative_, the _present infinitive_, the _first person singular of the perfect indicative_, and _the perfect passive participle.

Latin for Beginners

From the present stem are formed the _present_, _imperfect_, and

He rightly thinks that the weakness of our _ present _ units is _the_ real weakness: he thinks we are far more in need of drafts than of fresh units; he suggests that a rider be sent now to insist that the estimates in yesterday's cable were only made on the assumption that my present force is kept up to strength.

Gallipoli Diary, Volume I

Related Words

Log in or sign up to add your own related words.

synonyms (413)

Words with the same meaning.

antonyms (3)

Words with the opposite meaning, equivalents (11), other words for 'present'.

hypernyms (10)

Words that are more generic or abstract, hyponyms (26), words more specific or concrete, same context (26), words that are found in similar contexts.

relateds (1)

cross-references (18)


rhymes (74)

Words with the same terminal sound.

Word visualization

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

oroboros commented on the word present

All present and accounted for; present an award.

present meaning of

takchess commented on the word present

A good substitute for this. The present edition.

Wordnik is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, EIN #47-2198092.


  1. simple present

    present meaning of

  2. Present Tense: Definition, Rules and Examples of the 04 Present Tenses • 7ESL

    present meaning of

  3. Present Meaning

    present meaning of

  4. Opposite Of Present, Antonyms of Present, Meaning and Example Sentences

    present meaning of

  5. Present Simple Tense Meaning

    present meaning of

  6. What does it mean to be present?

    present meaning of


  1. present vs past

  2. Present vs Past ❤️

  3. Is the present TENSE ?

  4. past and present

  5. Videographer/Editor Showreel 2022

  6. Yellow-Bellied/ Red Naped Sapsucker at Highridge Park, Rolling Hills Estates CA


  1. Present Definition & Meaning

    Kids Definition ; 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


    present noun (NOW) ... the period of time that is happening now, not the past or the future: That's all for the present. The play is set in the

  3. Present Definition & Meaning

    The definition of Present is being, existing, or occurring at this time or now; current. See additional meanings and similar words.

  4. Present definition and meaning

    If you present someone with something such as a prize or document, or if you present it to them, you formally give it to them. The mayor presented him with a

  5. Present

    The word present has multiple meanings, most of which concern giving (a present is a gift) or time (the present is right now). The verb present might mean to

  6. PRESENT (verb) definition and synonyms

    Definition of PRESENT (verb): give something to someone formally or officially; cause problem, threat, opportunity etc; offer something to be ...

  7. Present Definition & Meaning

    present ; present /prɪ · verb ; presents; presented; presenting ; presents; presented; presenting.

  8. Present

    adj. 1. being, existing, or occurring at this time or now; current: the present economic situation. 2. at this

  9. meaning of present in Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

    2 cause something to happen [transitive]CAUSE to cause something to happen or existpresent somebody with something I knew I had presented her with an impossible

  10. present

    transitive verb To exhibit or offer to view or notice; to lay before one's perception or cognizance; to set forth; to present a fine appearance. transitive verb