Definition for PRES'ENT

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.

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