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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The sheriff’s Twitter feed was flooded by commenters outraged that an alternative solution hadn’t been pursued, but the officials insisted that relocation wasn’t an option. Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Friendly Oregon bear is killed because it wasn’t afraid of humans," 18 June 2019 The resort insists the deaths of the three Americans were unrelated. Brian Pascus, CBS News, "What we know about American tourists' deaths and illnesses in the Dominican Republic," 18 June 2019 Administration officials insist that the U.S. is not gearing up for a military confrontation with Iran. Matthew Lee, Fortune, "Your Questions About the U.S.-Iran Standoff, Answered," 18 June 2019 Kankash insisted Onyx was separate from Main Auto, despite that managers and customers' cars moved from one dealership to the other. Robert Anglen,, "Used-car nightmare: Arizona dealer didn't pay off trades or transfer title to buyers," 17 June 2019 Proslavery propaganda in the antebellum South insisted that Northern wage slaves were worse off than Southern chattel slaves. Sarah Churchwell, The New York Review of Books, "‘The Lehman Trilogy’ and Wall Street’s Debt to Slavery," 11 June 2019 Her mother insisted the worker's blood be tested for hepatitis and HIV; tests revealed no issues. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Muskego college student found blood in her Fuji apple salad at a Waukesha Panera, police say," 10 June 2019 She has also been criticized for insisting that several of her major characters were of a different race or sexuality than they were made out to be in the books. Sangeeta Singh-kurtz, Quartzy, "Vans x Harry Potter is the sneaker collection no one asked for but everyone wants," 7 June 2019 Marsden repeatedly insisted that the photo was art and should be judged on those grounds. Dvorameyers, Longreads, "The Gymnast’s Position," 5 June 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about insist

Statistics for insist

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for insist

The first known use of insist was in 1586

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for insist



English Language Learners Definition of insist

: to demand that something happen or that someone do something
: to say (something) in a way that is very forceful and does not allow disagreement


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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on insist

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with insist

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insist

Spanish Central: Translation of insist

Nglish: Translation of insist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of insist for Arabic Speakers

Comments on insist

What made you want to look up insist? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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