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Cutting off; abstracting. – Cheyne.

PRE'SCIOUS, a. [L. præscius; præ and scio, to know.]

Foreknowing; having foreknowledge; as, prescious of ills. Dryden.


  1. To write or give medical directions; to direct what remedies are to be used; as, to prescribe for a patient in a fever.
  2. To give law; to influence arbitrarily. A forwardness to prescribe to the opinions of others. – Locke.
  3. In law, to claim by prescription; to claim a title to a thing by immemorial use and enjoyment; with for. A man may be allowed to prescribe for a right of way, a common or the like; a man can not prescribe for a castle; he can prescribe only for incorporeal hereditaments. – Blackstone.
  4. To influence by long use. [Not in use.] – Brown.

PRE-SCRIBE', v.t. [L. præscribo, to write before.]

  1. In medicine, to direct, as a remedy to be used or applied to a diseased patient. Be not offended with the physician who prescribes harsh remedies.
  2. To set or lay down authoritatively for direction; to give as a rule of conduct; as, to prescribe laws or rules. There's joy, when to wild will you laws prescribe. – Dryden.
  3. To direct. Let streams prescribe their fountains where to run. – Dryden.


Directed; ordered.


One that prescribes.


Directing; giving as a rule of conduct or treatment.

PRE'SCRIPT, a. [L. præscriptus.]

Directed; prescribed. – Hooker.

PRE'SCRIPT, n. [L. præscriptum.]

  1. A direction; a medical order for the use of medicines. But Prescription is chiefly used.
  2. Direction; precept; model prescribed.


That may be prescribed for.

PRE-SCRIP'TION, n. [L. præscriptio. See Prescribe.]

  1. The act of prescribing or directing by rules; or that which is prescribed; particularly, a medical direction of remedies for a disease and the manner of using them; a recipe.
  2. In low, a prescribing for title; the claim of title to a thing by virtue of immemorial use and enjoyment; or the right to a thing derived from such use. Prescription differs from custom, which is a local usage. Prescription is a personal usage, usage annexed to the person. Nothing but incorporeal hereditaments can be claimed by prescription. – Blackstone. The use and enjoyment of navigation and fishery in the sea, for any length of time, does not create a title by prescription. The common right of nations to the use and enjoyment of the sea is imprescriptible; it can not be lost by a particular nation for want of use. – Vattel.
  3. In Scots law, the title to lands acquired by uninterrupted possession for the time which the law declares to be sufficient, or 40 years. This is positive prescription. Negative prescription is the loss or omission of a right by neglecting to use it during the time limited by law. This term is also used for limitation, in the recovery of money due by bond, &c. Obligations are lost by prescription, or neglect of prosecution for the time designated by law. – Encyc.


  1. Consisting in or acquired by immortal use and enjoyment; as, a prescriptive right or title. The right to be drowsy in protracted toil, has become prescriptive. – J. M. Mason.
  2. Pleading the continuance and authority of custom. – Hurd.

PRES'E-ANCE, n. [Fr.]

Priority of place in sitting. [Not in use.] – Carew.

PRES'ENCE, n. [s as z. Fr. from L. præsentia; præ, before, and esse, to be.]

  1. The existence of a person or thing in a certain place; opposed to absence. This event happened during the king's presence at the theater. In examining the patient, the presence of fever was not observed. The presence of God is not limited to any place.
  2. A being in company near or before the face of another. We were gratified with the presence of a person so much respected.
  3. Approach face to face or nearness of a great personage. Men that very presence fear, / Which once they knew authority did bear. – Daniel.
  4. State of being in view; sight. An accident happened in the presence of the court.
  5. By way of distinction, state of being in view of a superior. I know not by what pow'r I am made hold, / In such a presence here to plead my thoughts. – Shak.
  6. A number assembled before a great person. Odmar, of all this presence does contain, / Give her your wreath whom you esteem most fair. Dryden.
  7. Port; mien; air; personal appearance; demeanor. Virtue is best in body that is comely, and that has rather dignity of presence, than beauty of aspect. – Bacon. A graceful presence bespeaks acceptance. – Collier.
  8. The apartment in which a prince shows himself to his court. An't please your grace, the two great cardinals / Wait in the presence. – Shak.
  9. The person of a superior. – Milton. Presence of mind, a calm, collected state of the mind with its faculties at command; undisturbed state of the thoughts, which enables a person to speak or act without disorder or embarrassment in unexpected difficulties. Errors, not to be recalled, do find / Their best redress from presence of the mind. – Waller.


The room in which a great personage receives company. – Addison.

PRE-SEN-SA'TION, n. [pre and sensation.]

Previous notion or idea. – More.

PRE-SEN'SION, n. [L. præsensio, præsentio; præ and sentio, to perceive.]

Previous perception. [Little used.] – Brown.

PRES'ENT, a. [s as z. Fr. present; L. præsens; præ and sum, esse, to be.]

  1. Being in a certain place; opposed to absent.
  2. Being before the face or near; being in company. Inquire of some of the gentlemen present. These things have I spoken to you, being yet present with you. – John xiv.
  3. Being now in view or under consideration. In the present instance, facts will not warrant the conclusion. The present question must be decided on different principles.
  4. Now existing, or being at this time; not past or future; as, the present session of congress. The court is in session at the present time. We say, a present good, the present year or age.
  5. Ready at hand; quick in emergency; as, present wit. 'Tis a high point of philosophy and virtue for a man to be present to himself. – L'Estrange.
  6. Favorably attentive; not heedless; propitious. Nor could I hope in any place but there / To find a god so present to my prayer. – Dryden.
  7. Not absent of mind; not abstracted; attentive. The present, an elliptical expression for the present time. – Milton. At present, elliptically, for, at the present time. Present tense, in grammar, the tense or form of a verb which expresses action or being in the present time, as, I am writing; or something that exists at all times, as virtue is always to be preferred to vice; or it expresses habits or, general truths, as plants spring from the earth; fishes swim; reptiles creep; birds fly; some animals subsist on herbage, others are carnivorous.

PRES'ENT, n. [Fr. id. See the Verb.]

That which is presented or given; a gift; a donative; something given or offered to another gratuitously; a word of general application. – Gen. xxxii. Presents, in the plural, is used in law for a deed of conveyance, a lease, letter of attorney or other writing; in the phrase, “Know all men by these presents,” that is, by the writing itself, per presentes. In this sense, it is rarely used in the singular.

PRE-SENT', v.t. [Low L. præsento; Fr. presenter; It. presentare; Sp. presentar; L. præsens; præ, before, and sum, esse, to be.]

  1. To set, place or introduce into the presence or before the face of a superior, as to present an envoy to the king; and with the reciprocal pronoun, to come into the presence of a superior. Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord. Job i.
  2. To exhibit to view or notice. The top of Mount Holyoke, in Hampshire county, in Massachusetts, presents one of the finest prospects in America.
  3. To offer to exhibit. O hear what to my mind first thoughts present. – Milton. He is ever ready to present to us the thoughts or observations of others. – Watts.
  4. To give; to offer gratuitously for reception. The first president of the American Bible Society, presented to that institution ten thousand dollars.
  5. To put into the hands of another in ceremony. So ladies in romance assist their knight, / Present the spear, and arm him for the fight. – Pope.
  6. To favor with a gift; as, we present a man with a suit of clothes. Formerly, the phrase was, to present a person. Octavia presented the poet, for his admirable elegy on her son Marcellus. – Dryden. [This use is obsolete.]
  7. To nominate to an ecclesiastical benefice; to offer to the bishop or ordinary as a candidate for institution. The patron of a church may present his clerk to a parsonage or vicarage; that is, may offer him to the bishop of the directives to be instituted. – Blackstone.
  8. To offer. He presented battle to the French navy, which was refused. – Hayward.
  9. To lay before a public body for consideration, as before a legislature, a court of judicature, a corporation, &c.; as, to present a memorial, petition, remonstrance or indictment.
  10. To lay before a court of judicature as an object of inquiry; to give notice officially of a crime or offense. It is the duty of grand juries to present all breaches of law within their knowledge. In America, grand juries present whatever they think to be public injuries, by notifying them to the public with their censure.
  11. To point a weapon, particularly some species of firearms; as, to present a musket to the breast of another; manual exercise, to present arms.
  12. To indict; a customary use of the word in the United States.


  1. That may be presented; that may be exhibited or represented. – Burke.
  2. That may be offered to a church living; as, a presentable clerk.
  3. That admits of the presentation of a clerk; as, a church presentable. [Unusual.] – Ayliffe.

PRE-SENT-A'NE-OUS, a. [L. præsentaneus.]

Ready; quick; immediate; as, presentaneous poison. – Harvey.


  1. The act of presenting. Prayers are sometimes a presentation of mere desires. – Hooker.
  2. Exhibition; representation; display; as, the presentation of fighting on the stage. – Dryden.
  3. In ecclesiastical law, the act of offering a clerk to the bishop or ordinary for institution in a benefice. An advowson is the right of presentation. If the bishop admits the patron's presentation, the clerk so admitted is next to be instituted by him. – Blackstone.
  4. The right of presenting a clerk. The patron has the presentation of the benefice.


  1. In ecclesiastical affairs, that has the right of presentation, or offering a clerk to the bishop for institution. Advowsons are presentative, collative or donative. An advowson presentative is where the patron makes a right of presentation to the bishop or ordinary. – Blackstone.
  2. That admits the presentation of a clerk; as, a presentative parsonage. – Spelman.


Offered; given; exhibited to view; accused.