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 Still others in the camp of nationalist reaction have taken to insisting the earth’s wrath is God’s punishment instead of humanity’s folly. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "The Blood-Dimmed Tide," 16 Sep. 2019 Everyone who owns a pair of Rothy’s has, at least once, stepped out of their pair and insisted that an inquirer try them on. Shannon Fitzgerald, Fortune, "How Sustainable Startup Rothy’s Found Success Turning Recycled Water Bottles into Fashionable Footwear," 15 Sep. 2019 Indian officials say the chances of war are close to zero and insist that Kashmir is getting back to normal. Suhasini Raj, New York Times, "Abused by Soldiers and Militants, Kashmiris Face Dangers in Daily Life," 15 Sep. 2019 The education secretary needs to be an educator, Senator Elizabeth Warren insisted. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "The Missing Education Questions in the Democratic Debate," 13 Sep. 2019 Though dozens of witnesses saw a Boeing 757 hit the building, conspiracy advocates insist there is evidence that a missile or a different type of plane smashed into the Pentagon. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Debunking the Myths About the 9/11 Attack on the Pentagon," 10 Sep. 2019 Still, to presume spectators are under any obligation to delay their departure for someone else’s gratification – as Alabama coach Nick Saban insists – is arrogance. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Kirk Herbstreit should blame ESPN for Louisville fans leaving the Notre Dame game early," 3 Sep. 2019 Nelson, like Melartin, declined to discuss the specific details of Clarke’s case, but insisted that any decision to drop a student from the rolls is based strictly on academic performance. Rebecca Tan, Longreads, "Paul Clarke Wants to Live," 3 Sep. 2019 China, meanwhile, has continued to permit sales of pangolins and pangolin scale products within its borders, insisting that the scales come from stockpiles amassed before the international trade bans went into effect. Rachael Bale, National Geographic, "Pangolin scale medicines no longer covered by Chinese insurance," 29 Aug. 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

27 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for insist

The first known use of insist was in 1586

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More Definitions for insist


How to pronounce insist (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insist

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


concealed or difficult to comprehend

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