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

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 However, this unlawful phenomenon led the OCM in early February 2022 to send over two dozen letters ordering businesses suspected of illegally selling or gifting cannabis to cease and desist those activities. Dario Sabaghi, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2022 To cease and desist any effort to coerce, intimidate, persuade, trick or compel any man, woman or child to receive any experimental gene therapy injection or any other medical device including masks. Anchorage Daily News, 17 Mar. 2022 Perhaps Tomlin, Roethlisberger, Cam Heyward or somebody will demand that JuJu Smith-Schuster cease and desist with his silly pregame ritual of dancing on the logo of the opposing team. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, 22 Dec. 2020 The Department of Natural Resources also sent a cease-and-desist notice on Monday to Earl Stewart, supervisor of the Tongass National Forest. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, 28 Apr. 2022 As a result, the West recently has intensified its pressure on Moscow and is seeking new ways to compel Moscow to desist. Adrian Karatnycky, WSJ, 10 Apr. 2022 Unless the Russians contrive a clever reason to desist, the next stage will likely involve the broad deployment of heavy artillery and the beginning of missile strikes on Ukrainian cities. Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, 1 Mar. 2022 After not complying with orders to desist, the man was arrested for disorderly conduct. cleveland, 22 Sep. 2021 The department said deputies used verbal commands to desist before pepper-spraying 20 to 25 inmates. Los Angeles Times, 15 July 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of desist

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for desist

Middle English desisten, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French desister, desistier, borrowed from Latin dēsistere "to leave off, cease," from dē- de- + sistere "to cause to stand, assume a standing position, place, check, halt" — more at assist entry 1

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

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Desist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for desist


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

Britannica English: Translation of desist for Arabic Speakers


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