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 British overseas territories are self-governing, but exist under the sovereignty of Britain and have Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state. BostonGlobe.com, "Microstates, island nations and overseas territories speed ahead in global vaccination race," 28 Mar. 2021 British overseas territories are self-governing, but exist under the sovereignty of Britain and have Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state. Washington Post, "When smaller is better: Microstates, island nations and overseas territories speed ahead in global vaccination race," 26 Mar. 2021 That is not to argue a version of it should not exist; leaving American floodplain residents wholly at the mercy of both climate change and the private insurance industry would be catastrophic. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Why Is Chuck Schumer Protecting the Rich From Flood Insurance Hikes?," 26 Mar. 2021 Now, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make up a bigger portion of California’s population, and exist across positions of power from government to the grassroots like never before. Los Angeles Times, "Column: They warned about rising anti-Asian hate 32 years ago. Californians ignored them," 25 Mar. 2021 Data on population size, geographical range, historical discovery dates and other biological characteristics were used to create a computer model that estimated where undescribed species might exist today, reports Peter Dockrill for Science Alert. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, "This Map Shows You the Odds of Finding a New Species in Your Neighborhood," 24 Mar. 2021 Disney and Warner might not be sharing any actual numbers for the time being, but some figures do exist from independent trackers, Deadline reports. Chris Smith, BGR, "‘Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ is the most watched Disney+ original premiere so far," 23 Mar. 2021 The deal is the latest sign of how cinemas and flourishing streaming platforms might co-exist in a post-pandemic world. NBC News, "Cineworld to reopen Regal cinemas next month, in time for 'Godzilla vs. Kong'," 23 Mar. 2021 But the lack of enforcement information leaves 2.1 million Californians living within a mile of active oil wells in the dark, with little to no way of knowing if dangers exist from the facilities or if problems are ever rectified. Janet Wilson, ProPublica, "Are California Oil Companies Complying With the Law? Even Regulators Often Don’t Know.," 22 Mar. 2021

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

2 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exist. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for exist



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

Nglish: Translation of exist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exist for Arabic Speakers

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