exist

verb

ex·​ist ig-ˈzist How to pronounce exist (audio)
existed; existing; exists

intransitive verb

1
a
: to have real being whether material or spiritual
did unicorns exist
the largest galaxy known to exist
b
: to have being in a specified place or with respect to understood limitations or conditions
strange ideas existed in his mind
2
: to continue to be
racism still exists in society
3
a
: to have life or the functions of vitality
we cannot exist without oxygen
b
: to live at an inferior level or under adverse circumstances
the hungry existing from day to day

Examples of exist in a Sentence

She believes that ghosts really do exist. It's the largest galaxy known to exist. Does life exist on Mars? The Internet didn't exist then. We shouldn't ignore the problems that exist in our own community. Racism still exists in our society. The organization may soon cease to exist if more funding isn't provided.
Recent Examples on the Web The conservative parents also felt that the school district failed to inform parents that the groups existed. Jenavieve Hatch, Sacramento Bee, 3 Apr. 2024 But, at least in theory, the new revenue could free up existing funds for other county spending — including pay and benefits. Michael Smolens, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Apr. 2024 Some associate or assistant deans previously focused on DEI, Hartzell said, will return to full-time faculty positions, and those that were laid off can apply to existing openings. Dan Rosenzweig-Ziff, Washington Post, 3 Apr. 2024 The existing home, with seven bedrooms, spans more than 19,000 square feet. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 3 Apr. 2024 The researchers note that, collectively, their approaches could accelerate wind turbine testing and turbine integration into existing grids and wind farms by catching any issues earlier on, before the wind turbine undergoes its final field test. IEEE Spectrum, 3 Apr. 2024 Under existing emergency-repair law for highways, federal funding is capped at 80 percent of the total cost for highway projects such as the Key Bridge, but the binding constraint here is that emergency funding is capped at $100 million per year, which is already appropriated. The Editors, National Review, 3 Apr. 2024 Students will work alongside the papers’ existing one- or two-person reporting staffs and put themselves to work covering the small communities of Mount Vernon, Lisbon and Solon, Iowa. Heather Hollingsworth, Fortune, 2 Apr. 2024 This council can also recommend standards for fast-food worker safety and work with existing state agencies to investigate issues like wage theft. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 2 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'exist.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French exister, borrowed from Latin existere, exsistere "to come into view, appear, show oneself, come into being" (Late Latin, "to have real being, be, be present"), from ex- ex- entry 1 + sistere "to cause to stand, assume a standing position, place, check, halt" — more at assist entry 1

First Known Use

circa 1568, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of exist was circa 1568

Dictionary Entries Near exist

Cite this Entry

“Exist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exist. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

exist

verb
ex·​ist ig-ˈzist How to pronounce exist (audio)
1
: to have actual being : be real
do unicorns exist?
2
: to continue to be
as long as doubt exists
3
: to continue to live : stay alive
earned barely enough to exist on

More from Merriam-Webster on exist

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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