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

Keep scrolling for more

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 But less than a week before opening night, Auerfarm was issued a cease-and-desist order because it was not permitted to hold performance events., 9 July 2021 Mike Feuer said his office had sent cease-and-desist letters to online platforms, including Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, 5Miles and OfferUp, which agreed to remove posts advertising fireworks for sale in L.A. Los Angeles Times, 1 July 2021 Fogerty sent cease-and-desist letters to the Trump campaign and even joined TikTok solely to chide Trump for playing the tune. Jon Bream, Star Tribune, 29 June 2021 Mike Feuer this week sent cease-and-desist letters to four online platforms, including Facebook, demanding the removal of offers for online fireworks sales. Steve Lopez Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 24 June 2021 The almost-two-hour Harvard speech could only be read as a cease-and-desist threat against those who want to put him to pasture or to expand the Court’s membership. Philip Elliott, Time, 23 June 2021 The charge demands that High Tech High reinstate Hutchins with back pay and interest and cease and desist from threats, retaliation or discrimination against employees or otherwise discouraging them from being in a union. Kristen Taketa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 May 2021 Police entered the building and issued a cease-and-desist order threatening fines and arrests. Darcel Rockett,, 8 June 2021 Ian Prior, executive director of Fight for Schools PAC and a Loudon County parent, recently received a cease-and-desist order from a fellow parent trying to silence him for speaking out against CRT by threatening legal action. Kelly Laco, Fox News, 29 May 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About desist

Time Traveler for desist

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for desist

Last Updated

15 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

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

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for desist



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

Britannica English: Translation of desist for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!