Definition of presence in US English:

presence

noun

  • 1The state or fact of existing, occurring, or being present in a place or thing.

    ‘the presence of chlorine in the atmosphere’
    ‘the memorial was unveiled in the presence of 24 veterans’
    ‘her presence still comforts me’
    • ‘The fact he could utter the word in the presence of his most deadly enemies says much about the Christian upbringing of the man.’
    • ‘Testing for HIV infection is usually done by detecting the presence of an antibody to the virus.’
    • ‘You must then date it and sign it in the presence of two witnesses.’
    • ‘Eventually they accepted the document in the presence of two witnesses and Albert was given painkillers.’
    • ‘Princess Margaret presented the certificate in the presence of Lady Astor.’
    • ‘To be in the presence of someone who obviously loves his job and cares about his audience is truly unique.’
    • ‘Burial took place in the adjoining cemetery in the presence of a large number of sympathisers.’
    • ‘We had been in the presence of a man of God, a gentle giant, a man of strong conviction astride a gentle soul.’
    • ‘Many students seem to be aware of the station's presence on campus.’
    • ‘She drew comfort from his presence there and his voice, the warmth in it reserved only for her.’
    • ‘Arriving in Tripoli on 12 February 1941, he made his presence felt immediately.’
    • ‘We would feel uneasy in the presence of someone who knew our inmost thoughts.’
    • ‘Christ's presence on earth simply exposed the activity of these sinister forces.’
    • ‘Though she would draw immense comfort from his presence, she did not want him to see her suffer.’
    • ‘It was moments like that when I savoured his presence, enjoyed the fact that we were together and we were happy.’
    • ‘From one of these old men, whose name is not mentioned here, I received the sense of having been in the presence of evil.’
    • ‘I approached Robbie and he didn't seem to sense my presence in the room.’
    • ‘The vertebrates are characterized by the presence of a bony skeleton and a brain.’
    • ‘Then, oddly comforted by his presence, she starts to seek out his company.’
    • ‘I will watch for God's presence in my life today.’
    existence, being there
    attendance, attending, appearance, residence, occupancy
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A person or thing that exists or is present in a place but is not seen.
      ‘the monks became aware of a strange presence’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And yes, sometimes I even hear voices or sense presences that aren't there.’
      • ‘Not all presences or hauntings are necessarily evil, he says - they may simply be lost or desperate.’
      • ‘Heads scarcely touch pillows before significant dreams and spectral presences are in attendance.’
      • ‘I had just shrugged into a light coat when I felt a looming presence at my back.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I was overwhelmed by the reality of these presences.’
      • ‘It was strange the way she began to feel presences.’
      • ‘‘So of course, these presences are just hallucinations,’ I said cheerfully.’
      • ‘Sensing a dark presence in the room is a common symptom of sleep paralysis.’
      • ‘She is preoccupied with the supernatural, in this particular instance ghostly presences.’
      ghost, spirit, spectre, phantom, vision, wraith, shadow, poltergeist, manifestation, apparition, supernatural being
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    2. 1.2in 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’
      • ‘Their main role, however, will be to reassure the public and provide a visible police presence on the streets.’
      • ‘Mr Youssef said that a regular and visible police presence was the best deterrent to criminals.’
      • ‘The police presence was a deterrent to those wishing to commit petty crimes.’
      • ‘Uganda could then justify its army presence in the region as peacekeepers.’
      • ‘Internally, a strong secret police had a shadowy presence in the universities and institutions.’
      • ‘He said that provided a police presence was maintained in the centre, the project could be beneficial.’
      • ‘We've been putting pressure on the Government to increase the Garda presence on our roads.’
      • ‘Indeed, it has been argued that a visible American troop presence weakens the royal family rather than strengthening it.’
      • ‘They headed towards the police station where they knew the British army had a presence.’
      • ‘This will ensure that a high visibility policing presence will be maintained in such areas as Shipley East.’
      • ‘The Metropolitan Police had a presence of 600 officers in the area to maintain public order.’
      • ‘We have security guards now and there is a continual presence of the Metro Police.’
      • ‘It has also increased the police presence on the streets of communities throughout the city.’
      • ‘He wonders what maintaining a constant police presence in the area is costing taxpayers.’
      • ‘The rest of the group was told to leave, returning along the same route without a police presence.’
      • ‘You can actually see passers-by slide their eyes around the police and military presence.’
      • ‘I wouldn't object to the cameras so much if there was a police presence to crack down on other motoring offences.’
      • ‘And, campus security has responded by intensifying their security presence in these areas with some success.’
      • ‘Most notable of all was the continued absence of any significant military or police presence.’
      • ‘The local public opinion about the American military presence appears to be mixed.’
      • ‘Yet it remains just as true that most people feel more secure when the police have a visible presence on the streets.’
    3. 1.3 The impressive manner or appearance of a person.
      ‘Richard was not a big man but his presence was overwhelming’
      in singular ‘he has a real physical presence’
      • ‘The reassuring physical presence of a property is enough to catch many people off guard.’
      • ‘The crowd responded with applause suitably thunderous for a woman with such commanding stage presence.’
      • ‘A good trainer and a big physical presence, he is a brave and dependable goalkeeper.’
      • ‘His lack of physical presence is a drawback at this level but a goal would do wonders for his confidence.’
      • ‘Sol is not a big talker on the field, but his physical presence and calm manner reassure others.’
      • ‘They have a great physical presence and they made that tell on this occasion.’
      • ‘More importantly, unlike the other two, he made his physical presence known at both ends of the pitch.’
      • ‘Short but well built, with a beard and cropped hair, the young leader has a powerful physical presence.’
      • ‘He has genuine physical presence to augment his smooth changes of pace and direction.’
      • ‘He's got a real physical presence - his chest is puffed up and it feels like he's taking up too much space.’
      • ‘Roberts kept them wanting more with his commanding stage presence.’
      • ‘With his physical presence you very rarely see him beaten in the air.’
      • ‘But we're only human, and we feel the need to make up for our lack of physical presence in other ways.’
      • ‘He is still young, still a boy really, but his physical presence is already very good.’
      • ‘The constable said that he found Mr Bibby to be " quite threatening just by his mere physical presence".’
      • ‘She was reassured by his solid presence by her side.’
      • ‘For all that, the staging will be simple, a bare set putting the focus on the performers' physical presence.’
      • ‘We need a big fellow up front and he gives us a strong physical presence.’
      • ‘He had a huge physical and vocal presence, dominating his area and the players around him.’
      • ‘Alexander has a real earthy solid presence which balances Carlos's classical technique.’
      bearing, carriage, stance, deportment, comportment, attitude, posture, manner, air, guise
      aura, charisma, personality, force of personality, strength of personality, individuality, magnetism, attraction
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • presence of mind

    • The ability to remain calm and take quick, sensible action.

      ‘he had the presence of mind to record the scene on video’
      • ‘Hospital sources said the girls had shown good presence of mind by running away when they saw a plastic can in the hands of the attacker.’
      • ‘Despite their serious injuries, the men remained calm - one even had the presence of mind to make a joke.’
      • ‘My mother with great presence of mind and daring jumped into the narrow creek which joined the sea, and pulled them out.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But the contestants should also have presence of mind, and, if it is not asking for too much, be smart.’
      • ‘They have the presence of mind to take the lifelines only when needed and the knowledge to answer the simpler questions without fluttering.’
      • ‘I am delighted that our officers were able to help and that they showed the presence of mind to ensure a safe delivery of both babies.’
      • ‘But if we stay sensible and keep our presence of mind we can meet the challenges ahead.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, as the attack grew ever more frenzied, I still somehow managed to retain the presence of mind to grope for the necessary remedy.’
      • ‘But I was thrilled that Ashley was able to have the presence of mind to talk to him.’
      composure, equanimity, self-possession, level-headedness, aplomb, poise, assurance, self-assurance, self-control, nerve, calmness, sangfroid, countenance, collectedness, imperturbability
      View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

presence

/ˈprɛzəns//ˈprezəns/