From Classic Encyclopedia 1911
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 presént; the others prèsent. The first group is due to the Latin præsens, the present participle of præesse, to be before one or at hand; from this participle was formed the verb præsentare, to bring before one, exhibit, show. The sense of "gift" is due to xxII. 10 a the O. Fr. phrase mettre en present a 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. lettres). 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. præsentire, to perceive beforehand.