in·​sist | \ in-ˈsist How to pronounce insist (audio) \
insisted; insisting; insists

Definition of insist

intransitive verb

1 : to be emphatic, firm, or resolute about something intended, demanded, or required They insist on going.
2 archaic : persist

transitive verb

: to maintain in a persistent or positive manner insisted that the story was true

Examples of insist in a Sentence

I didn't want to go, but she insisted. “Come on, let's go.” “Oh, all right, if you insist.” She insists the money is hers.
Recent Examples on the Web Yes, Galito’s has a burger for those trolls who insist on beef at a chicken joint. Tim Carman, Washington Post, 1 Aug. 2022 The conservative justices, who typically insist that they must be bound by the text of a statute, have afforded themselves an unfettered escape route. David Cole, The New York Review of Books, 8 July 2022 In time, with younger generations increasingly educated under the new shibboleths, the sort of waishengren who insist on their Chinese cultural identity will cease to exist. William Han, CNN, 15 July 2022 Defense leaders have called for calm and cooperation with security forces – comments that have rankled some lawmakers who insist civilian leaders would be the ones to find a solution. The Christian Science Monitor, 14 July 2022 Defending the status quo are the liberal internationalists, who insist that the United States should retain its position of global armed primacy. Daniel Bessner, Harper’s Magazine , 22 June 2022 But there are enough participating figures who still insist that their police work was sound to roil the calmest of blood. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 June 2022 The debate, according to aides and allies who insist Trump has yet to make a final decision, centers on whether to announce a campaign in the coming months or, in accordance with tradition, wait until after the November midterm elections. Jill Colvin, Chron, 17 June 2022 The world’s richest man’s latest return-to-office strategy flies in the face of so many other leaders who also insist that remote work is the way of the future and here to stay. Bryan Robinson, Forbes, 3 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'insist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of insist

1586, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for insist

Middle French or Latin; Middle French insister, from Latin insistere to stand upon, persist, from in- + sistere to take a stand; akin to Latin stare to stand — more at stand

Learn More About insist

Dictionary Entries Near insist




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for insist

Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Insist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for insist


in·​sist | \ in-ˈsist How to pronounce insist (audio) \
insisted; insisting

Kids Definition of insist

1 : to make a demand I didn't want to go, but she insisted.
2 : to say (something) in a forceful way that doesn't allow for disagreement She insists the money is hers.
insist on also insist upon
: to express or show a belief in the importance of something He insists on doing it his way.

More from Merriam-Webster on insist

Nglish: Translation of insist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of insist for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!