Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

present - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective     present pronunciation in American English
  1. 1
    [only before noun] existing or happening now

    The present situation cannot be allowed to continue.

    In his present emotional state, he is capable of doing anything.

    The present owners purchased the farm in 1976.

    the present day (=now):

    the history of Jamestown from the 17th century to the present day

  2. 2
    [never before noun] at an event, or in a place

    I wasn’t present when Dr. Allott examined Clare.

    present at:

    Among those present at the ceremony were the ambassador and his wife.

    1. a.
      existing somewhere

      The chemicals obviously kill any bacteria present.

      present in:

      Both kinds of nucleic acid are present in all cells.


deep learning

a form of machine learning which incorporates the use of neural networks

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play