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 desist (audio) , -​ˈzi-​ How to pronounce desist (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 Love-Robinson first ran into trouble with the Florida Department of Health in October 2015, which filed a cease-and-desist notice accusing him of practicing medicine without a license, a department spokesman told CNN. Rebekah Riess And Travis Caldwell, CNN, "Man who pleaded guilty to practicing medicine without a license as a teen faces new fraud charges," 2 Jan. 2021 Café Rosetta was hit with warnings, hefty fines and a cease-and desist order after continuing dine-in service throughout the pandemic and after the state issued another round of COVID-19 restrictions on Nov.15 that banned indoor dining. Slone Terranella, Detroit Free Press, "U.P. breakfast spot that defied indoor dining ban hit with restraining order," 31 Dec. 2020 The state Health Department filed a cease-and-desist order against The Interchange in Albert Lea on Friday, the same day a Dakota County District Court granted a temporary restraining order against Alibi Drinkery requested by Ellison's office. Kristen Leigh Painter, Star Tribune, "Minnesota to suspend liquor licenses of 3 more restaurants that defied indoor dining ban," 19 Dec. 2020 Robinhood agreed to pay the $65 million civil penalty without admitting or denying the allegations, as well as adhere to a cease-and-desist order to not violate federal antifraud and record-keeping provisions. Hannah Denham, Washington Post, "Robinhood agrees to $65 million civil penalty to resolve SEC charges," 17 Dec. 2020 The family sent the president, 74, and his campaign team a cease and desist notice after learning that the song was used at the Oklahoma rally back in June. Claudia Harmata,, "Tom Petty's Family 'Touched' That Joe Biden Chose the Late Singer's Song for His Victory Speech," 9 Nov. 2020 If that doesn’t work, a cease-and-desist order will follow, then a closure order and, eventually, possible prosecution. Michael Smolens Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Frustration with COVID-19 restrictions boils over," 13 Dec. 2020 On Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Health served the restaurant with a cease-and-desist order. Erin Adler, Star Tribune, "Judge issues restraining order shutting down East Grand Forks bar that defied indoor dining ban," 11 Dec. 2020 Also on Monday, the New Hampshire state Bureau of Securities Regulation filed a separate cease-and-desist order against LLC and its co-founders, claiming the company's subscription service is fraudulent. CBS News, "RagingBull stock-trading site accused of $137 million fraud," 8 Dec. 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

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Desist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on desist

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for desist

Britannica English: Translation of desist for Arabic Speakers

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