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

Nessel sent a Notice of Intended Action to the company, giving it an opportunity to immediately cease and desist from engaging in unlawful business practices. Baltimore Sun Staff,, "Federal and Maryland officials warn against use of at-home ‘MeToo’ rape kits targeting local college students," 6 Sep. 2019 The cannabis bureau also sent a cease-and-desist letter to Weedmaps last year, demanding that the website stop working with unlicensed operators. James Queally, Los Angeles Times, "Nearly 3,000 illegal marijuana businesses found in California audit, dwarfing legal trade," 11 Sep. 2019 After a public hearing in August 2018, the commission unanimously issued a cease-and-desist order that required the Katzes to remove the seawall within 60 days and pay a $1-million penalty. Julia Sclafani, Daily Pilot, "Agreement clears Laguna couple to appeal ruling against seawall, though other efforts are dropped," 23 Aug. 2019 In March, Nike responded in a letter demanding that Leonard immediately cease and desist from using what Nike claims is Nike property. Michael Mccann,, "Kawhi Leonard vs. Nike: Analyzing the Raptors' Star's Logo Lawsuit," 4 June 2019 Annan wrote to Ginwright, 70, whose lawyer — state Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) — fired off a cease-and-desist letter ordering Annan to stop contacting her. Antonio Olivo, Washington Post, "Fairfax NAACP leader resigns after sending racially derogatory text," 29 July 2019 Del Castillo took the bait and the health department issued a cease-and-desist order and made her pay a $500 fine and around $250 in fees. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Unlicensed “health coach” claims health advice is free speech—court disagrees," 20 July 2019 The judge issued a cease-and-desist order forbidding the owners from creating additional shell companies to avoid responsibilities. USA TODAY, "Penal farm to produce farm, music under the sea: News from around our 50 states," 16 July 2019 An attorney for the school sent him a cease-and-desist letter last month asserting the company is owed less than $124,000. Josh Verges, Twin Cities, "Costly academic turnaround takes St. Paul charter school from ‘buckets of cash’ to deep in debt," 10 July 2019

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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de Sitter space

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Last Updated

13 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for desist

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

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with desist

Spanish Central: Translation of desist

Britannica English: Translation of desist for Arabic Speakers

Comments on desist

What made you want to look up desist? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


fear of the number 13

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