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ghostly presence

An unspecified yet palpable and typically somewhat sinister presence, attendance, or existence. Though the country had finally reached a period of peace, the ghostly presence of its violent past hung heavily on the minds of the citizens. The characters never discuss the absent father directly, but this very avoidance gives him a ghostly presence throughout the novel.
See also: presence

make (one's) presence felt

To do something or act in a way makes a group of people aware of one's role, contributions, etc., in a particular situation. As the youngest CEO in the company's history, Mark knew he had to make his presence felt by introducing a few major policy changes. The small but vocal group has already made their presence felt in the most recent presidential election.
See also: felt, make, presence

in (one's) presence

With one present and watching or supervising. You'll need to fill this form out in a notary's presence.
See also: presence

in the presence of (someone)

With someone present and watching or supervising. You'll need to fill this form out in the presence of a notary.
See also: of, presence

presence of mind

A sensible, cool-headed mentality that allows one to remain calm and make quick, intelligent decisions. Before fleeing the house, Margaret had the presence of mind to turn off the circuit breaker so that the electrical fire wouldn't spread as quickly. The board of directors was very impressed with the presence of mind Tom displayed during the Baker trial.
See also: mind, of, presence

grace (someone) with (one's) presence

To visit someone. Often used sarcastically or passive-aggressively, to suggest that one has condescended to make an appearance. Thanks so much for gracing us with your presence, Ed—you're only 45 minutes late.
See also: grace, presence

grace someone or something with one's presence

Fig. to honor someone or something with one's presence. "How nice of you to grace us with your presence," Mr. Wilson told Mary sarcastically as she entered the classroom late. The banquet was graced with the presence of the governor.
See also: grace, presence

have the presence of mind to do something

Fig. to have the calmness and ability to act sensibly in an emergency or difficult situation. Jane had the presence of mind to phone the police when the child disappeared. The child had the presence of mind to write down the car's license-plate number.
See also: have, mind, of, presence

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

make your presence felt

If someone or something makes their presence felt, they do something that makes you notice them or pay attention to them. I was here, there and everywhere all day, making my presence felt. First of all, establish what areas of your body are making their presence felt.
See also: felt, make, presence

make your presence felt

have a strong and obvious effect on others or on a situation.
2004 Casino City Times Women are really now making their presence felt on the Internet.
See also: felt, make, 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

in somebody’s ˈpresence


in the presence of somebody

with somebody in the same place: The document was signed in the presence of two witnesses.She asked them not to discuss the matter in her presence.
See also: presence

make your ˈpresence felt

do something which makes people notice your importance, strength, abilities, etc: In the first half of the game the Turkish team really made their presence felt.The demonstrators made their presence felt by shouting and waving banners.
See also: felt, make, 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 classic literature ?
Only from Numa did she attempt to conceal her presence. At last she reached the opposite trees.
The effect of his presence on me was so benignant, especially in those renewals of our old tete-a-tete wanderings, when he poured forth to me wonderful narratives of his professional experience, that more than once, when his talk turned on the psychological relations of disease, the thought crossed my mind that, if his stay with me were long enough, I might possibly bring myself to tell this man the secrets of my lot.
It happened that our family doctor was out on a holiday, an accident which made Meunier's presence in the house doubly welcome, and he apparently entered into the case with an interest which seemed so much stronger than the ordinary professional feeling, that one day when he had fallen into a long fit of silence after visiting her, I said to him -
After a minute or two, Meunier walked round to the other side of the bed where Bertha stood, and with his usual air of gentle politeness towards her begged her to leave the patient under our care--everything should be done for her--she was no longer in a state to be conscious of an affectionate presence. Bertha was hesitating, apparently almost willing to believe his assurance and to comply.
Yet while so deeply demoralised he was capable again of an impulse denoting - at least by his present measure - extraordinary resolution; of retracing his steps to the spot where he had turned cold with the extinction of his last pulse of doubt as to there being in the place another presence than his own.
If he had left that one open, hadn't he left this one closed, and wasn't he now in MOST immediate presence of some inconceivable occult activity?
It gloomed, it loomed, it was something, it was somebody, the prodigy of a personal presence.
He knew that what he had just said bore very little resemblance to what he felt, for Mary's presence acted upon him like a very strong magnet, drawing from him certain expressions which were not those he made use of when he spoke to himself, nor did they represent his deepest feelings.
But in truth the calm of his manner, now that he was sitting down once more, wrapt her in the presence of something which she felt to be so strong, so mysterious, so incalculable, that she scarcely dared to attempt to intercept it by any word or question that she was able to frame.
Yes,'' he continued, pacing up and down the little platform, with an animation in which he seemed to lose all consciousness of Rebecca's presence ``Yes, my deeds, my danger, my blood, made the name of Adelaide de Montemare known from the court of Castile to that of Byzantium.
That bugle-sound announces something which may require my presence. Think on what I have said.
Huntingdon to give upon a slip of paper, I deliberately read it over to him, and made him sign it in the presence of Rachel.
'I'll leave you, then,' said I; and I withdrew, and did not trouble him with my presence again that day, except for a minute or two at a time, just to see how he was and what he wanted.
Some instinct, deep in my heart, which I felt to be a true one, made the prospect of again entering her presence repulsive to me--I turned away from the square, and went straight back to the hotel.
She began to wish she had not come; her presence was not necessary.