Online Encyclopedia

PRESENT

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 298 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PRESENT, an adjective, adverb and substantive meaning that which is at hand or before one in place or in time. Also another substantive meaning a gift, and a verb meaning to bring into the presence of, to offer, to deliver. The verb is pronounced present; the others present. The first group is due to the Latin praesens, the present participle of praeesse, to be before one or at hand; from this participle was formed the verb praesentare, to bring before one, exhibit, show. The sense of " gift " is due to the O. Fr. phrase mettre en present d quelqu'un, to bring something into the presence of a person, to offer, give. The legal formal phrase " these presents " is common, especially in the form " know all men by these presents," as an opening to a deed, more particularly to a deed-poll which cannot be referred to as an " indenture." The phrase " these present words, documents, writings," &c. is an adaptation of a similar phrase in O.Fr. ces presentes (sc. ettres). As ecclesiastical terms " to present " or " presentation " are used of the " presenting " or nomination by the patron to the bishop of the person chosen by him to fill a vacant benefice. When the bishop is patron he does not " present," but " collates." " Presentiment," foreboding, the feeling of something impending, must be distinguished in etymology; it is derived from the Lat. praesentire, to perceive beforehand.
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