presence of mind


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presence of mind

The ability to act sensibly, promptly, and appropriately, especially in a difficult situation or emergency. For example, Distraught about losing her wallet and passport, she had the presence of mind to notify the authorities at once . This idiom in effect says that one's mind is present and functioning. [Second half of 1600s]
See also: mind, of, presence

presence of mind

the ability to remain calm and take quick, sensible action when faced with difficulty or danger.
See also: mind, of, presence

ˌpresence of ˈmind

the ability to react quickly and stay calm in a difficult or dangerous situation: A little girl from Leeds showed remarkable presence of mind yesterday when she saved her brothers from a fire in their home.The boy had the presence of mind to switch off the gas.
See also: mind, of, presence
References in periodicals archive ?
We intend to provide polished, concierge-style security guards who have the training and presence of mind not only to prevent intruders from entering a building but also to provide effective emergency medical care for residents.
Lavallee says contractors must have the presence of mind to ask where their anchor points are to hook up their lanyard, but it's still the responsibility of the on-site supervisor to point out the risks and hazards.
Throughout the tragic episode, young Jeremiah demonstrated a maturity, presence of mind, and bravery that saved two lives.
Yet this Casanova cannot love, at least not in the romantic manner of popular sentiment, depending instead on presence of mind, wit, and supreme confidence to sway ordinary mortals.
She had enough presence of mind to quickly turn off the gas stove, and we scrambled to a doorway.
Fortunately, she has the presence of mind (and the dagger) to kill him.
There is no doubt that had she not had the presence of mind and courage to confront this man, the incident could have been even more horrific.
Although the freshman was new to the study of carbon nanotubes, "he had the presence of mind to come and tell me," says Ajayan.
If you've got the presence of mind, push your bitten arm/ hand toward the dog.
Chandler verified that all people were out of the office--then had the presence of mind to lock the door.
The dancers had the presence of mind to bring a cellular phone with them into the bathroom, so they could summon paramedics, who then worked for more than an hour to free them from the rubble.
Luckily, she had the presence of mind to contact us, and we helped her find a unit that would do the job.
Dustin's quick thinking and presence of mind saved his father's life.
Presence of mind is really important during fire or any accidents.
They tried to block her car at the traffic signal, but she showed presence of mind and sped away.