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

There, a former player insisted Sherrill played by the rules, but the most interesting testimony shed light on how the NCAA uses informants in its investigations. Mike Finger,, "NCAA drops a fight it never should have started," 18 July 2019 Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has laid down the challenge for the club's youngsters to earn a place in the first team squad this season, insisting that performances and not age or experience is the only thing that matters to him., "Frank Lampard Confirms First-Team Door Is Open for Chelsea Youngsters to Impress," 17 July 2019 The Justice Department has focused many of its arguments on procedural issues, insisting that the class-wide protection the immigrant rights groups seek is not available under federal immigration law. Gene Johnson, The Seattle Times, "Judge asked to block new U.S. policy keeping asylum-seekers locked up," 29 June 2019 In a lengthy phone call with Mike Pence, who is overseeing talks while President Trump is in Japan for the G20, Pelosi suggested a number of potential fixes, while the vice president insisted the House take up a clean version of the Senate’s bill. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Pelosi Bows to Conservatives on Border Funding," 27 June 2019 While other networks elect not to air footage of people jumping from the buildings, Ailes insists that Fox runs it. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Loudest Voice Stops Short of Revealing Roger Ailes," 27 June 2019 Supporters insisted that the financial settlements were his only way to avoid further exploitation by families eager for money and willing to put up with notoriety. Margo Jefferson, Harper's magazine, "Lost Boy," 24 June 2019 Then, Johnson took to the stage to say his thanks and preach a message of kindness to the audience, insisting authenticity and treating everyone with respect is what brought him to this moment. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Watch Dwayne Johnson's inspiring speech accepting the MTV Generation Award," 18 June 2019 Dworkin insists—for a work of scholarly contemplation: This book is an action, a political action where revolution is the goal. Elaine Blair, The New York Review of Books, "Fighting for Her Life," 17 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.

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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

21 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for insist

The first known use of insist was in 1586

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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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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).


something desired as essential

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