follow Dictionary.com

Know these essential literary terms?

presence of mind

noun
1.
a calm state of mind that allows one to think clearly or act effectively in an emergency.
Origin
1655-1665
1655-65
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for presence of mind
  • At this point he faltered and lost his presence of mind so completely that he sat down on his own hat.
  • Maybe it was grit or pure presence of mind, maybe it was a career of photographing conflict, all the experience and preparation.
  • By their courage and presence of mind they probably have put an end to the career of a burglar.
  • Must be mature and display clear presence of mind under stressful situations.
  • It will help you maintain your presence of mind as well as helping the police later.
  • And fortunately, you have the presence of mind to do it and get back home, but it isn't easy sometimes.
British Dictionary definitions for presence of mind

presence of mind

noun
1.
the ability to remain calm and act constructively during times of crisis
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
presence of mind in Medicine

presence of mind pres·ence of mind (prěz'əns)
n.
The ability to think and act calmly and efficiently, especially in an emergency situation.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with presence of mind

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 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for presence of mind

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for presence

12
15
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with presence of mind