[ig-zis-tuh ns]


the state or fact of existing; being.
continuance in being or life; life: a struggle for existence.
mode of existing: They were working for a better existence.
all that exists: Existence shows a universal order.
something that exists; entity; being.

Origin of existence

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Late Latin word ex(s)istentia. See exist, -ence
Related formspost·ex·ist·ence, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for existence

Contemporary Examples of existence

Historical Examples of existence

  • Paralus breathes and moves, but is apparently unconscious of existence in this world.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • To Kate, for instance, she was a necessity of existence, like light or air.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • Built on fear and run by fear, fear is as essential to their existence as coal to our industries.

  • Its calmness gave the impression of a wisdom behind it that had no existence.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • My home life—if existence in a studio can be so called—was merry.

British Dictionary definitions for existence



the fact or state of existing; being
the continuance or maintenance of life; living, esp in adverse circumstancesa struggle for existence; she has a wretched existence
something that exists; a being or entity
everything that exists, esp that is living
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 existence

late 14c., "reality," from Old French existence, from Medieval Latin existentia/exsistentia, from existentem/exsistentem (nominative existens/exsistens) "existent," present participle of Latin existere/exsistere "stand forth, appear," and, as a secondary meaning, "exist, be;" from ex- "forth" (see ex-) + sistere "cause to stand" (see assist).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper