presence of mind for learners of EnglishPowered by COBUILD
phrase [usu PHR after v]
If you say that someone had thepresence of mindto do something, you approve of them because they were able to think and act calmly in a difficult situation. [approval] ⇒ He had the presence of mind to put his emergency oxygen tube in his mouth.
I was so surprised, and happy, that I lacked the presence of mind to return the kiss.Taylor, Andy TOY SHOPHad the presence of mind to run the opposite way to the horses and climb out.Bénédicte Newland and Pascale Smets AND GOD CREATED THE AU PAIRI had the presence of mind to cover my faceplate with my mittens; otherwise the glass should surely have smashed.Baxter, Stephen ANTI-ICEThey behaved with great presence of mind under the circumstances.John Murray A FEW SHORT NOTES ON TROPICAL BUTTERFLIES