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 administration’s defense against the criticism of its failure to move fast enough in Afghanistan has been to acknowledge it was taken by surprise by the speed of the collapse, but to insist there were plans in place. New York Times, 15 Aug. 2021 Some 23% of Republicans insist that they won’t get vaccinated under any circumstances, and another 8% say that they will not get vaccinated unless they are required to do so. William A. Galston, WSJ, 27 July 2021 Smith’s answer was to insist that revelation was ongoing, that ancient scripture could be opened up and revised — continued — with new visions that drew on the old but retreaded them for a nascent U.S. Andrew Kay, Longreads, 17 July 2021 Among them: whether to turn over a check to Chicago police — likely the personal check Smollett allegedly used to pay them for their help — and whether to insist upon immunity before talking further with authorities. Megan Crepeau,, 14 July 2021 The inspector general’s office released a six-page report on July 28, 2020, that Republicans immediately cited to call for further investigation and insist that the parole board was out of control. Washington Post, 14 June 2021 Liberal Senate Democrats insist the sheer volume of Republican bills targeting elections has given them an opening to get something done., 5 June 2021 And the Nuggets insist that Gordon was just as vital to them tying the series 1-1 as Jokic was. Larry Starks, USA TODAY, 25 May 2021 Lawyers at the Innocence Clinic insist the case against him was flawed from the beginning. John Wisely, Detroit Free Press, 14 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.

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

Dictionary Entries Near insist




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for insist

Last Updated

15 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.

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

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on insist

Nglish: Translation of insist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of insist for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!