Definition of “present” - English Dictionary

“present” in British English

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presentnoun

uk /ˈprez.ənt/ us /ˈprez.ənt/

present noun (SOMETHING GIVEN)

A2 [ C ] UK informal prezzie, or pressie, something that you are given, without asking for it, on a special occasion, especially to show friendship, or to say thank you:

They gave me theatre tickets as a present.

More examples

  • We're having a collection for Tom's retirement present.
  • They got an entire set of silver cutlery as a wedding present.
  • I was looking for a birthday present for my mother but I didn't find anything suitable.
  • Aren't you going to unwrap your presents?
  • The children squealed in delight when they saw all the presents under the Christmas tree.

present noun (NOW)

the present B1 [ S ]

More examples

  • I'm usually too immersed in the present to worry about the future.
  • Let's talk about the present.

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 present.
See also
the present (tense)

A1 [ S ] language the form of the verb that is used to show what happens or exists now:

The verb in this sentence is in the present.
at present B1 formal

now:

"Are you busy?" "Not at present."
At present she's working abroad.

presentadjective

uk /ˈprez.ənt/ us /ˈprez.ənt/

present adjective (IN A PLACE)

B1 [ after verb ] in a particular place:

The whole family was present.
There were no children present.

More examples

  • Mind your language - there are ladies present!
  • Is it necessary for all of us to be present at the meeting this afternoon?
  • Melanin is the dark brown pigment of the hair, skin, and eyes that is present in varying amounts in every human being.
  • More men are present at the births of their children these days.
  • There ought to be an adult present at all times, when there are young children in the pool.

present adjective (NOW)

[ before noun ] happening or existing now:

I don't have her present address.
Please state your present occupation and salary.

More examples

  • Charlie has a clever plan for getting us out of our present difficulties.
  • Unlike the present government, we believe in serving the community.
  • The present system of payment will remain in effect until the end of the rental agreement.
  • The present voting system distorts the wishes of the electorate.
  • Are you feeling frustrated in your present job?

presentverb [ T ]

uk /prɪˈzent/ us /prɪˈzent/

present verb [ T ] (GIVE)

B2 to give, provide, or make something known:

The winners were presented with medals.
The letter presented the family with a problem that would be difficult to solve.
The documentary presented us with a balanced view of the issue.
He presented the report to his colleagues at the meeting.
The classroom presented a cheerful busy atmosphere to the visitors (= appeared to them to have this).
The school is presenting (= performing) "West Side Story" as its end-of-term production.

More examples

  • He has a lot more work to do before he can present the scheme to the public.
  • Ruth was astonished when he presented her with an engagement ring.
  • She presented a well-argued case for the banning of smoking in public places.
  • She graciously accepted the flowers that were presented to her.
  • The Duchess of Kent will be presenting the trophies.

present verb [ T ] (INTRODUCE)

B2 UK to introduce a television or radio show:

She presents the late-night news.

formal to introduce a person:

May I present Professor Carter?
Later on I'd like to present you to the headteacher.
present yourself

to arrive somewhere and introduce yourself:

He presented himself at the doctor's at 9.30 a.m. as arranged.
present itself C2

If something presents itself, it happens:

An opportunity suddenly presented itself.

More examples

  • I'd like to present my grandson, Jackson Junior.
  • He was presented to the Queen and given a knighthood.
  • She used to present one of those holiday programmes but now she reads the news.
  • May I present Sir Bob Geldof?
  • What was that documentary called that she used to present?

(Definition of “present” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“present” in American English

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presentnoun

us /ˈprez·ənt/

present noun (SOMETHING GIVEN)

[ C ] something that is given without being asked for, esp. on a special occasion or to say thank you; a gift:

Did you wrap the present?

present noun (NOW)

[ U ] this period of time, not the past or the future; now:

The story moves back and forth between the past and the present.

presentadjective [ not gradable ]

us /ˈprez·ənt/

present adjective [ not gradable ] (GRAMMAR)

specialized (in grammar) having the tense of a verb used to describe actions, events, or states that are happening or existing at this time:

Her book is written entirely in the present tense.

present adjective [ not gradable ] (GRAMMAR)

grammar having the tense of a verb used to describe actions, events, or states that are happening or existing at this time:

Her book is written entirely in the present tense.

present adjective [ not gradable ] (PLACE)

in a particular place:

The mayor was present during the entire meeting.

presentverb [ T ]

us /prɪˈzent/

present verb [ T ] (PROVIDE)

to give, show, provide, or make known:

The mayor presented five firefighters with medals for saving people’s lives.
Two clubs in the neighborhood present jazz on Thursdays.
Dr. Gottlieb will present her research in a series of lectures this spring.

If you present yourself, you go to someone or make yourself known to someone:

Paul Groncki presented himself to the receptionist on the 41st floor.

If something presents itself, it happens or takes place:

An opportunity suddenly presented itself.

present verb [ T ] (CAUSE)

to cause something:

Falling tax revenues present a problem for the city.

present verb [ T ] (INTRODUCE)

fml to introduce a person:

I’m pleased to present my son, Charles.

(Definition of “present” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“present” in Business English

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presentverb [ T ]

uk /prɪˈzent/ us

to offer your thoughts, ideas, plans, etc., to others for them to consider:

He will present a detailed explanation of the new sales campaign at the next meeting.

to give a bill, cheque, document, etc., to someone:

Today a store scans your goods, and you simply present your credit card and sign your name.
present sb with sth Organizers presented her with a check for $25,000.
present sth to sb We presented our passports to the customs officer.

if someone or something presents a problem, opportunity, etc., they create it:

The shake-out in bank shares may well have presented an opportunity for bargain hunters.
be presented with sth He was presented with a tough choice.

(Definition of “present” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)