ex·​is·​tence ig-ˈzi-stən(t)s How to pronounce existence (audio)
: the state or fact of having being especially independently of human consciousness and as contrasted with nonexistence
the existence of other worlds
: the manner of being that is common to every mode of being
: being with respect to a limiting condition or under a particular aspect
: actual or present occurrence
existence of a state of war
: the totality of existent things
: a particular being
all the fair existences of heavenJohn Keats
: sentient or living being : life
: reality as presented in experience
obsolete : reality as opposed to appearance

Examples of existence in a Sentence

She began to doubt the existence of God. the existence of UFO's is something that people continue to argue about
Recent Examples on the Web Israeli officials continue to deny the existence of starvation in Gaza, which international aid groups warn is on the brink of famine. Yasmeen Serhan, TIME, 3 Apr. 2024 Microsoft confirmed the existence of its chatbot to The Verge. Tom Warren, The Verge, 2 Apr. 2024 Speaking to crowds in Jerusalem on Sunday, former Israeli prime minister and current opposition leader Yair Lapid said the government was ignoring the existence of the families of hostages. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, 1 Apr. 2024 Scott is only the 15th artist in the history of the chart's existence to accomplish this feat. Chris Barilla, Peoplemag, 31 Mar. 2024 The New Empire follows 2021's Godzilla vs. Kong, pitting the two behemoths against a colossal undiscovered threat hidden within the world, challenging not only their existence, but the very existence of humanity. EW.com, 31 Mar. 2024 The dual roller system even has concealed scrapers that keep the rollers from getting clogged with hair (the bane of every bot's existence in my house). Anthony Karcz, Forbes, 30 Mar. 2024 That might sound plausible in 2024, but the ruling was issued in 2013, months before Edward Snowden revealed the existence of government programs collecting massive amounts of metadata on US citizens. Noah Feldman, The Mercury News, 30 Mar. 2024 This longitudinal study has been in existence since the early 1960s, but this study used data collected from 2005–2010, 2013–2014, and 2017–2018. Sarah Garone, Health, 23 Mar. 2024

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

Word History


Middle English, borrowed from Middle French existence, existance, borrowed from Late Latin existentia, exsistentia, noun derivative of existent-, existens/exsistent-, exsistens "having being, existent"

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3d

Time Traveler
The first known use of existence was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near existence

Cite this Entry

“Existence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/existence. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: the fact or the state of having being or of being real
the largest animal in existence
: the state of being alive : life
owed my existence to a doctor's skill

More from Merriam-Webster on existence

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