from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The ability to think and act calmly and efficiently, especially in an emergency.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Focused alertness, quick-thinking resourcefulness, stability of thought and feeling, or good sense, especially in spite of circumstances which are distracting, stressful, or otherwise challenging.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. that state of the mind in which all its faculties are alert, prompt, and acting harmoniously in obedience to the will, enabling one to reach, as it were spontaneously or by intuition, just conclusions in sudden emergencies.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. self-control in a crisis; ability to say or do the right thing in an emergency
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Even at this early age he had the presence of mind to call upstairs to his mother, Something wrong with Gammie.
Another eye-witness, Count Gamba, bears similar testimony to the presence of mind with which he fronted this and all other such dangers.
He also had occasion to show his courage and presence of mind in rescuing from a mob his distinguished friend, Col. E.D. Baker, afterwards a Senator of the United States.
Dr. Masterson was at the other end of a long, carpeted corridor when he finally had the presence of mind to look around.
“I well remember the cry of treason,” Jefferson wrote afterward, “the pause of Mr. Henry at the name of George III., and the presence of mind with which he closed his sentence, and baffled the charge vociferated.”
But with presence of mind I retreated slowly from the presence of Mr. and Mrs. Bruin, and not being followed by the bears my fears on that score were removed.
And a few, such as Loran, had the intelligence, the wisdom, and the presence of mind to come back after their first experience.
They had had the presence of mind to bring their wooden bowls, dippers and spoons, also their blankets, mats and buckets; Richard found the stream and put Bill Whiting to setting up the dripstones, then fetching water.
Mrs. Pomfret, that Hetty required no more presence of mind than was demanded for using her needle, and throwing in an occasional
He had the presence of mind to flee, and they went round and round the caldron, while Mitchy-Mitch feebly endeavoured to follow -- his appearance, in this pursuit, being pathetically like that of a bug fished out of an ink-well, alive but discouraged.