American English

Definition of present adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[only before noun] existing or happening now in the present situation the present owner of the house a list of all club members,past and present We do not have any more information at the present time. A few brief comments are sufficient for present purposes. You can't use it in its present condition. Which Word?actual / current / presentActual does not mean current or present. It means “real” or “exact,” and is often used in contrast with something that is not seen as real or exact:I need the actual figures, not an estimate.Present means “existing or happening now”:How long have you been in your present job?Current also means “existing or happening now,” but can suggest that the situation is temporary:The factory cannot continue its current level of production.Actually does not mean “at the present time.” Use currently, at the present time, or at the moment instead. see also the present day
  2. 2[not before noun] present (at something) (of a person) being in a particular place Most fathers wish to be present at the birth of their child. There were 200 people present at the meeting. The mistake was obvious to all those present. I wasn't present when the doctor examined him. opposite absent
  3. 3[not before noun] present (in something) (of a thing or a substance) existing in a particular place or thing Levels of pollution present in the atmosphere are increasing. Analysis showed that traces of arsenic were present in the body. opposite absent
  4. Idioms
    all present and accounted for
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    used to say that all the things or people who should be there are now there
    present company excepted (informal)
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    used after being rude or critical about someone to say that the people you are talking to are not included in the criticism The people in this office are so narrow-minded, present company excepted, of course.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: present