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From Anglo-Norman presentment, presentement, Middle French presentement, corresponding to present +‎ -ment.



presentment (countable and uncountable, plural presentments)

  1. (law) A statement made on oath by a jury. [from 15th c.]
    • 1993, Peter Kolchin, American Slavery, Penguin History, paperback edition, page 62:
      In 1771, a grand jury presentment in Georgia revealed that "Slaves are permitted to rent houses [...]."
  2. (law) The notice taken by a grand jury of any offence from their own knowledge or observation, without any bill of indictment laid before them.
    the presentment of a nuisance, a libel, etc.
  3. (ecclesiastical law) A formal complaint submitted to a bishop or archdeacon. [from 16th c.]
    • 1991, Raymond Grant, The Royal Forests of England, Alan Sutton 1991:
      He recognised that there was general resentment of the oppressive conduct of the Forest officers, and made provision for regular inquiries into it, and for presentment of Forest offences to be made at the attachment courts, as a procedure preliminary to the Forest Eyre.
  4. The act of presenting something for acceptance; now specifically, presenting something (e.g. a bill or cheque) for payment. [from 16th c.]
    • 2000, Sarah Rose, "The Truth about Online Banking", Money, vol. 29.4:
      When online bill presentment, which removes all the paperwork, becomes widespread, says McKinsey's Stephenson, online banking will be far more compelling.
  5. (now rare) An artistic representation; a picture. [from 16th c.]
    • 1923, "Arts: In Washington", Time, 21 Dec 1923:
      Noted among the who's-who in portraiture: Hopkinson's Secretary Hughes, Childe Hassam's Governor Alfred E. Smith, of New York, Edmund C. Tarbell's Mary at the Harpsichord, Lillian Westcott Hale's child portrait study of Brothers, Frank Benson's Girl in Blue Jacket, and Marion Boyd Allen's presentment of Anna Vaughn Hyatt.
  6. Presentation of a performance, as of a play or work of music. [from 17th c.]
  7. (now rare) The aspect or form in which something presents itself; appearance. [from 17th c.]
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick:
      But it was especially the aspect of the three chief officers of the ship, the mates, which was most forcibly calculated to allay these colourless misgivings, and induce confidence and cheerfulness in every presentment of the voyage.
  8. The official notice (formerly required to be given in court) of the surrender of a copyhold estate.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Blackstone to this entry?)

Derived terms

Old French


presenter +‎ -ment.


presentment m (oblique plural presentmenz or presentmentz, nominative singular presentmenz or presentmentz, nominative plural presentment)

  1. presentation (act of presenting, of showing)
  2. presentation (that which is presented, is given)


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