de·​sist | \ di-ˈsist How to pronounce desist (audio) , -ˈzist How to pronounce desist (audio) , dē- \
desisted; desisting; desists

Definition of desist

intransitive verb

: to cease to proceed or act a court order to desist from selling the product

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Other Words from desist

desistance \ di-​ˈsi-​stən(t)s How to pronounce desistance (audio) , -​ˈzi-​ How to pronounce desistance (audio) , dē-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for desist

stop, cease, quit, discontinue, desist mean to suspend or cause to suspend activity. stop applies to action or progress or to what is operating or progressing and may imply suddenness or definiteness. stopped at the red light cease applies to states, conditions, or existence and may add a suggestion of gradualness and a degree of finality. by nightfall the fighting had ceased quit may stress either finality or abruptness in stopping or ceasing. the engine faltered, sputtered, then quit altogether discontinue applies to the stopping of an accustomed activity or practice. we have discontinued the manufacture of that item desist implies forbearance or restraint as a motive for stopping or ceasing. desisted from further efforts to persuade them

Examples of desist in a Sentence

Despite orders from the police, the protesters would not desist.
Recent Examples on the Web The Alabama Securities Commission on Wednesday issued an emergency cease-and-desist order to a man the agency said encouraged Alabamians to spend their coronavirus stimulus checks on penny stocks touted by him. Howard Koplowitz |, al, "Alabama Securities Commission sends cease-and-desist letter to coronavirus stock scammer," 20 May 2020 In exchange for the withdrawal of the Soviet missiles from Cuba, the United States agreed to give up its Jupiter-missile bases in Turkey, and also promised to cease and desist from further plans to invade Cuba. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, "In Venezuela, Americans Attempt to Stage a “Bay of Piglets”," 13 May 2020 The next day, the New York Attorney General issued a cease-and-desist order to the web site for misleading consumers. Philip Elliott, Time, "This Company’s Coronavirus Loan Struggle Reveals the Paycheck Protection Program’s Pitfalls," 13 May 2020 Lee also noted that Cassell’s church held services on Facebook Live and via YouTube after it was hit with a cease-and-desist order on March 31 by the Stephenson County Department of Health. NBC News, "Illinois church pastor defies state over coronavirus rules," 7 May 2020 The government’s telecommunications commission issued ABS-CBN Corp. a cease-and-desist order one day after the media giant’s broadcast franchise, which is granted by Congress, expired. Jason Gutierrez, New York Times, "Leading Philippine Broadcaster, Target of Duterte’s Ire, Forced Off the Air," 5 May 2020 After the Democratic governor’s statewide stay-at-home order took effect on March 20, The Beloved Church of Lena continued holding in-person services until issued a cease-and-desist order by Stephenson County officials on March 31. Fox News, "Illinois Gov. Pritzker's religious freedom add-on makes stay-at-home order constitutional, federal judge says," 5 May 2020 One business that hasn’t closed is JoAnn fabrics, though the similar craft store Hobby Lobby shut down after a cease-and-desist order from state Attorney General Dave Yost. Laura Johnston, cleveland, "How are police dealing with price-gouging and house parties during coronavirus restrictions: This Week in the CLE," 15 Apr. 2020 And the county sent its cease-and-desist letter on April 8. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, "Dallas-area chiropractor, smoke shop targeted by coronavirus enforcement efforts," 17 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'desist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of desist

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for desist

Middle English, from Anglo-French desister, from Latin desistere, from de- + sistere to stand, stop; akin to Latin stare to stand — more at stand

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Time Traveler for desist

Time Traveler

The first known use of desist was in the 15th century

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Statistics for desist

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Desist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for desist


How to pronounce desist (audio) How to pronounce desist (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of desist

formal : to stop doing something


de·​sist | \ di-ˈzist How to pronounce desist (audio) , -ˈsist \
desisted; desisting

Kids Definition of desist

: to stop doing something Please desist from making that noise.

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More from Merriam-Webster on desist

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for desist

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with desist

Spanish Central: Translation of desist

Britannica English: Translation of desist for Arabic Speakers

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