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See more synonyms for insist on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to be emphatic, firm, or resolute on some matter of desire, demand, intention, etc.: He insists on checking every shipment.
  2. to lay emphasis in assertion: to insist on the justice of a claim.
  3. to dwell with earnestness or emphasis (usually followed by on or upon): to insist on a point in a discussion.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to assert or maintain firmly: He insists that he saw the ghosts.
  2. to demand or persist in demanding: I insist that you see this thing through.
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Origin of insist

1580–90; < Latin insistere to stand still on, persist in, equivalent to in- in-2 + sistere to stand, make stand, reduplicated derivative from base of stāre to stand
Related formsin·sist·er, nounin·sist·ing·ly, adverbo·ver·in·sist, verb (used without object)re·in·sist, verb (used without object)su·per·in·sist, verb (used without object)


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

Related Words

contend, urge, reiterate, repeat, request, maintain, assert, vow, demand, press, hold, swear, require, importune, asseverate, persist, aver

Examples from the Web for insist

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "Then I must insist that you appoint your successor," said Aspasia.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Did you not insist on going home with Hester Paine, when I had offered my escort?

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • They want to get into the garage; they insist on washing the car.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • The Sphinx is a woman, as I will insist to my dying day, if it were my last word!

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • The Thought had been wise not to insist too much on recognition.

British Dictionary definitions for insist


  1. to make a determined demand (for)he insisted that his rights be respected; he insisted on his rights
  2. to express a convinced belief (in) or assertion (of)he insisted that she was mad; he insisted on her madness
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Derived Formsinsister, nouninsistingly, adverb

Word Origin

C16: from Latin insistere to stand upon, urge, from in- ² + 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 insist


1580s, from Latin insistere "persist, dwell upon, stand upon," from in- "upon" (see in- (2)) + sistere "take a stand" (see assist). Perhaps in some cases a back-formation from insistence. Related: Insisted; insisting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper