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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Juul did insist in negotiations that Altria couldn’t develop new e-cigarette products while Altria had access to detailed information on Juul’s products and research, the companies have said in legal filings. Jennifer Maloney, WSJ, 2 June 2021 But several experts say the evidence is muddled at best and that the FDA should insist Biogen mount a third late-stage trial., 2 June 2021 Speaker Nancy Pelosi initially proposed a panel stacked 7-4 with Democrats, and Republicans insist that left an indelible taint. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, 28 May 2021 And while the state won’t insist on any kind of vaccine passport, certain businesses can ask for proof that patrons and guests have been immunized, Ghaly said. San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 May 2021 Then, when a fleet of FBI agents showed up at her home, Winner didn’t insist on first consulting a lawyer. Washington Post, 12 May 2021 The media nonetheless referred constantly to the letters to insist that the scientists had spoken. Rich Lowry, National Review, 25 May 2021 They were used by striking sanitation workers in Memphis to insist upon their dignity. Blair Mcclendon, The New Republic, 24 May 2021 Even now, long-term holders of bitcoin are sitting on large profits, and some optimists insist that the value will rebound and reach new highs as more and more institutional investors accept crypto as a legitimate asset class. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 24 May 2021

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.

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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

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Statistics for insist

Last Updated

11 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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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.


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