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

intransitive verb

: to be emphatic, firm, or resolute about something intended, demanded, or required
They insist on going.
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 But that decision took time to evolve and not from a desire to strike an illicit deal to cheat the system, Huffman insisted. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Dec. 2023 Indeed, Richard Greene, one of the most experienced communications consultants, insists that Taylor Swift has much to teach CEOs and CFOs about how to engage with an audience and to create a human connection. Roger Trapp, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 An earlier copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is currently hanging in a gallery in Turin—or so insists Joël Feldman. Teresa Nowakowski, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 Nov. 2023 Whelan, whose family insists he is being held on false charges, suffered an eye injury in a quarrel with another convict, the Mordovian Federal Penitentiary Service told Russian news agency Interfax. Chris Pandolfo, Fox News, 29 Nov. 2023 Lately, some filmmakers like Shawn Levy have insisted on filming on location. Elsa Keslassy, Variety, 28 Nov. 2023 Butler has admitted to having extramarital relationships but insisted all the encounters were consensual. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 28 Nov. 2023 Once, the former first lady invited the couple over and insisted on making sugar-free banana pudding. Danielle Paquette, Washington Post, 28 Nov. 2023 Breed, who was first narrowly elected mayor in a crowded 2018 special election, insisted San Francisco is seeing progress thanks to her administration's homelessness and crime policies. Julia Cherner, ABC News, 19 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'insist.' 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 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

First Known Use

1586, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of insist was in 1586

Dictionary Entries Near insist

Cite this Entry

“Insist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​sist in-ˈsist How to pronounce insist (audio)
: to place special stress or great importance
insists on punctuality
: to make a demand : request urgently
insisted that I come

More from Merriam-Webster on insist

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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