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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for desisting
Historical Examples
  • desisting from their search, they resolved to keep a look-out.

    The Boy Slaves Mayne Reid
  • But Blue Streak had no intention of desisting as long as the roan was in front.

    The Fighting Edge William MacLeod Raine
  • desisting, we fronted to each other, but not for an explanation.

    The War Trail Mayne Reid
  • desisting from this, he began to wander about the far end of the field, aimlessly.

    Dubliners James Joyce
  • desisting from his labours, he regarded the mass of coal with studied interest.

    A Lively Bit of the Front Percy F. Westerman
  • desisting from his task, he approached his officer and saluted.

    A Lively Bit of the Front Percy F. Westerman
  • Everyone can find out for himself that the Hindus can lose nothing by desisting.

    Indian Home Rule M. K. Gandhi
  • "I'm glad you brought him," she said, desisting from labour.

    Penrod Booth Tarkington
  • "Oh, certainly," she said, desisting from the operation of pulling on her gloves.

    The Eustace Diamonds

    Anthony Trollope
  • Miss Spaulding, desisting from her piano: “What is the matter?”

    The Register William D. Howells
British Dictionary definitions for desisting


(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 desisting



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 desisting


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