[ ig-zist ]
See synonyms for: existexistedexistingexists on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object)
  1. to have actual being; be: The world exists, whether you like it or not.

  2. to have life or animation; live.

  1. to continue to be or live: Belief in magic still exists.

  2. to have being in a specified place or under certain conditions; be found; occur: Hunger exists in many parts of the world.

  3. to achieve the basic needs of existence, as food and shelter: He's not living, he's merely existing.

Origin of exist

First recorded in 1595–1605; from Latin ex(s)istere “to exist, appear, emerge,” equivalent to ex- ex-1 + sistere “to stand”

Other words for exist

Other words from exist

  • ex·ist·er, noun

Words Nearby exist

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use exist in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for exist


/ (ɪɡˈzɪst) /

  1. to have being or reality; to be

  2. to eke out a living; stay alive; survive: I can barely exist on this wage

  1. to be living; live

  2. to be present under specified conditions or in a specified place: sharks exist in the Pacific

  3. philosophy

    • to be actual rather than merely possible

    • to be a member of the domain of some theory, an element of some possible world, etc

    • to have contingent being while free, responsible, and aware of one's situation

Origin of exist

C17: from Latin exsistere to step forth, from ex- 1 + sistere to stand

Derived forms of exist

  • existing, adjective

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