adj. & n.
adj. 1 (usu. predic.) being in the place in question (was present at the trial). 2 a now existing, occurring, or being such (the present Duke; during the present season). b now being considered or discussed etc. (in the present case). 3 Gram. expressing an action etc. now going on or habitually performed (present participle; present tense).
n. (prec. by the) 1 the time now passing (no time like the present). 2 Gram. the present tense. at present now. by these presents Law by this document (know all men by these presents). for the present 1 just now. 2 as far as the present is concerned. present company excepted excluding those who are here now. present-day adj. of this time; modern.
[ ME f. OF f. L praesens -entis part. of praeesse be at hand (as PRAE-, esse be) ]