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 That camp existed through the beginning of World War II when the area was claimed by the U.S. Army. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "How South Addition became Anchorage’s first red-light district," 10 Feb. 2020 Displayed in a group with the intention of making some kind of cultural, political, or artistic statement about who-knows-what, my cartoon ceases to exist as an idea and is reduced to the status of a thing. David Sipress, The New Yorker, "Stop, Thief! My Cartoon Gets Appropriated," 4 Feb. 2020 The former Portuguese colony pretty much relies on gaming to exist. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Macau shutters casinos over coronavirus fears," 4 Feb. 2020 The female assassin is one of those mythical creatures that, like Hobbits and magazine journalists who live in spacious Manhattan lofts, seem to exist much more in movies than in the real world. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, "Blake Lively plays grieving assassin in the clunky off-tempo thriller Rhythm Section review," 31 Jan. 2020 Intriguingly, the new method also reveals slightly more Neanderthal DNA in modern Europeans that was previously overlooked, narrowing the baffling 20 percent gap once thought to exist between Neanderthal ancestry in Europeans and East Asians. National Geographic, "You may have more Neanderthal DNA than you think," 30 Jan. 2020 Unwinding this effort was just as simple; the Job requested that its process slot be cleared, and at that point, the Job simply ceased to exist. Frank O’brien, Ars Technica, "A deep dive into the Apollo Guidance Computer, and the hack that saved Apollo 14," 30 Jan. 2020 The veteran driver remains under contract with his old team, but in one that appears to exist in paper alone. Nathan Brown, Indianapolis Star, "'Challenge accepted': How James Hinchcliffe recovered from shocking break with Arrow McLaren SP," 27 Jan. 2020 James Bond is the coolest film franchise ever to exist. Trilby Beresford, The Hollywood Reporter, "Billie Eilish Makes History as Youngest Grammy Winner in All 4 Main Categories," 27 Jan. 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

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Exist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exist. Accessed 26 Feb. 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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