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

Definition of exist

intransitive verb

1a : 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
3a : 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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for exist



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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web One of these was about removing the images of the Confederate flag that still exist in some city buildings and logos. Julia Wallace, Houston Chronicle, "Laredo to consider removing Confederate flag from iconography around city," 17 June 2020 Former Police Chief Steve Conrad had said that video does not exist of Taylor's shooting, as none of the involved officers were wearing body cameras. Tessa Duvall, The Courier-Journal, "Breonna Taylor attorneys: Louisville police, mayor withholding records in shooting case," 16 June 2020 The goal is hugely ambitious—and still far from equal to both the need and the opportunity that will exist in a post-COVID-19 world. Nilanjana Bhowmick, National Geographic, "Will COVID-19 inspire the world to provide poor people with clean water?," 16 June 2020 Those freedoms do not currently exist for all of those who serve, and our armed forces are weaker as a result. Janessa Goldbeck, refinery29.com, "We Ask & We Tell, But It’s Still Hard To Be Queer In The Military," 15 June 2020 The law Ressa and Santos were charged under, the Cybercrime Prevention Act, did not exist at the time the story was published. Laignee Barron, Time, "Philippines Journalist Maria Ressa Convicted of Cyber Libel," 15 June 2020 After all, the whole point of the auction is to support the deployment of broadband services that wouldn't otherwise exist in the absence of subsidies. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Ajit Pai caves to SpaceX but is still skeptical of Musk’s latency claims," 10 June 2020 Many of those barriers are tied up with racial inequalities that exist in the United States more widely. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "Black Investors Call on VCs to Focus on Hiring and Funding," 9 June 2020 There are voids that exist in our own backyards that are often overlooked despite how loyal that consumer base is in patronizing said businesses. Rachel King, Fortune, "Coffee startup BLK & Bold’s cofounders on incorporating social impact into the business model," 8 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exist.' 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 exist

circa 1568, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for exist

Latin exsistere to come into being, exist, from ex- + sistere to stand, stop; akin to Latin stare to stand — more at stand

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Time Traveler for exist

Time Traveler

The first known use of exist was circa 1568

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Statistics for exist

Last Updated

24 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Exist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exist. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for exist


How to pronounce exist (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of exist

: to have actual being : to be real
: to continue to be or to live


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

Kids Definition of exist

1 : to have actual being : be real Do unicorns exist?
2 : to be found : occur Problems exist in every neighborhood.
3 : to continue to live She barely earned enough to exist.

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More from Merriam-Webster on exist

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for exist

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with exist

Spanish Central: Translation of exist

Nglish: Translation of exist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exist for Arabic Speakers

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