Definition of presence of mind in English:

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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My mother with great presence of mind and daring jumped into the narrow creek which joined the sea, and pulled them out.’
    • ‘But if we stay sensible and keep our presence of mind we can meet the challenges ahead.’
    • ‘Despite their serious injuries, the men remained calm - one even had the presence of mind to make a joke.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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
    alertness, quickness, quick-wittedness
    cool, unflappability
    View synonyms