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[dih-zist, -sist] /dɪˈzɪst, -ˈsɪst/
verb (used without object)
to cease, as from some action or proceeding; stop.
Origin of desist
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Old French desister < Latin dēsistere to leave off, equivalent to dē- de- + sistere to stand, place, akin to stāre to stand
Related forms
desistance, desistence, noun
nondesistance, noun
nondesistence, noun
nondesisting, adjective, noun
undesisting, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for desisted
Historical Examples
  • He desisted at last and looked back at us with a mien of anger.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • On hearing this Pee-wee desisted from any further criticism.

    Pee-wee Harris Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • It awakened the compunctions of conscience, and he desisted from his purpose.

  • The children, wide-eyed in awe and wonder, desisted in their play.

    The Strollers Frederic S. Isham
  • He desisted, and his eyes wandered slowly from object to object.

    Almayer's Folly Joseph Conrad
  • So he desisted, and continued his conversation without attempting to look.

    Rollo in Switzerland Jacob Abbott
  • As he was hurrying to me as rapidly as possible, I desisted from further inquiry.

  • At last he desisted and ordered me to put on all my clothes.

  • Consulting his apparent feelings they desisted, and parted in friendship.

  • At last he felt that he had done everything in his power, and he desisted from his labors.

    Paul Patoff

    F. Marion Crawford
British Dictionary definitions for desisted


(intransitive) often foll by from. to cease, as from an action; stop or abstain
Derived Forms
desistance, desistence, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French desister, from Latin dēsistere to leave off, stand apart, from de- + sistere to stand, halt
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for desisted



mid-15c., from Middle French désister (mid-14c.), from Latin desistere "to stand aside, leave off, cease," from de- "off" (see de-) + sistere "stop, come to a stand" (see assist). Related: Desisted; desisting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with desisted


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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