[dih-zist, -sist]

verb (used without object)

to cease, as from some action or proceeding; stop.

Origin of desist

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 formsde·sist·ance, de·sist·ence, nounnon·de·sist·ance, nounnon·de·sist·ence, nounnon·de·sist·ing, adjective, nounun·de·sist·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for desisted

Historical Examples of desisted

  • He desisted at last and looked back at us with a mien of anger.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for desisted



(intr often foll by from) to cease, as from an action; stop or abstain
Derived Formsdesistance or desistence, noun

Word Origin for desist

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

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

Idioms and Phrases with desisted


see cease and desist.

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