Definition of present noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈpreznt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpreznt//
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  1. 1  a thing that you give to somebody as a gift birthday/Christmas/wedding, etc. presents What can I get him for a birthday present?
  2. 2  (also the present) [singular] the time now You've got to forget the past and start living in the present. I'm sorry he's out at present (= now).
  3. 3 the present [singular] (grammar) = present tense See related entries: Grammar
  4. Word Originnoun sense 1 Middle English: from Old French, originally in the phrase mettre une chose en present à quelqu'un ‘put a thing into the presence of a person’. noun senses 2 to 3 Middle English: via Old French from Latin praesent- ‘being at hand’, present participle of praeesse, from prae ‘before’ + esse ‘be’.Extra examples At Christmas, family and friends exchange presents. Customers may return unwanted presents in exchange for vouchers. It’s a present to us all from Granny. My nephew loves this bike so I’m going to make him a present of it. Santa Claus handed out presents to the children. a present for my daughter Have you bought any Christmas presents yet? The watch was a gift/​present from my mother.Idioms for now; for a short time This house is big enough for the moment, but we'll have to move if we have children.
    (there is) no time like the present
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    (saying) now is the best time to do something, not in the future
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: present