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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.
  3. to continue to be or live: Belief in magic still exists.
  4. to have being in a specified place or under certain conditions; be found; occur: Hunger exists in many parts of the world.
  5. to achieve the basic needs of existence, as food and shelter: He's not living, he's merely existing.

Origin of exist

1595–1605; < Latin ex(s)istere to exist, appear, emerge, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + sistere to stand
Related formsex·ist·er, nounnon·ex·ist·ing, adjectiveun·ex·ist·ing, adjective

Synonyms for exist

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for exists


verb (intr)
  1. to have being or reality; to be
  2. to eke out a living; stay alive; surviveI can barely exist on this wage
  3. to be living; live
  4. to be present under specified conditions or in a specified placesharks exist in the Pacific
  5. philosophy
    1. to be actual rather than merely possible
    2. to be a member of the domain of some theory, an element of some possible world, etc
    3. to have contingent being while free, responsible, and aware of one's situation
Derived Formsexisting, adjective

Word Origin for exist

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



c.1600, from French exister (17c.), from Latin existere/exsistere "to step out, stand forth, emerge, appear; exist, be" (see existence). "The late appearance of the word is remarkable" [OED]. Related: Existed; existing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper