Meaning of exist in English:


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[no object]
  • 1Have objective reality or being.

    ‘dossiers existed on almost everyone of prominence’
    • ‘there existed no organization to cope with espionage’
    • ‘In other words, knowledge is always of a reality that exists independently of knowers and perceivers.’
    • ‘According to one physicist reality only exists because we think it does.’
    • ‘Again, it is surprising that the most attractive faces do not even exist in reality.’
    • ‘It was fun to see new and wonderful things, things that could never exist in reality.’
    • ‘The lottery win seemed like conclusive proof that Kiron existed, but in reality, it was no proof at all.’
    • ‘Today every object that existed yesterday is older than it was yesterday.’
    • ‘No basis exists for an objection related to paying the taxes or to the level of the taxes to be paid.’
    • ‘Whether or not the object of a thought exists, it cannot be the case that a thought has no content, that its content is nothing.’
    • ‘The gulf exists objectively and has only deepened as a result of their behaviour.’
    • ‘As far as I know no similar analysis of party organizations exists for ethnicity.’
    • ‘There is a sense of a world existing objectively, outside the emotional dynamics of the drama.’
    • ‘Some objects, now existing in scattered parts of the globe, are brought together.’
    • ‘These organizations still exist and try to function despite a general lack of funds.’
    • ‘Moreover, it seems that the objects exist independently of the mathematician.’
    • ‘What use is an instrument that keeps sending back images of objects that can't possibly exist?’
    • ‘This strange phenomena that exists in everyone is widespread all over the world.’
    • ‘You had a group of reporters who wanted to prove that the weapons existed because everyone else said that they did not.’
    • ‘The discovery suggests that life could exist on planets very different from Earth.’
    • ‘Being honest, kind and humane are good ideals to live by whether God exists or not.’
    • ‘It was equivalent to saying that gravity did not exist on Earth and then proving it, right in front of her eyes.’
    live, be alive, be living, have life, breathe, draw breath
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    1. 1.1Occur or be found, especially in a particular place or situation.
      ‘two conflicting stereotypes of housework exist in popular thinking’
      • ‘This is the situation that exists between Hawaii and the continental United States.’
      • ‘A similar situation exists in the amount of traffic trying to use York.’
      • ‘Lastly, we cannot ignore the tensions in the Gulf, where a warlike situation exists.’
      • ‘But he adds the situation still exists where there are huge areas covered by one hub.’
      • ‘The worst possible situation is that which existed in the United States and in the Iraqi prison.’
      • ‘The situation that existed at present was a danger to motorists and pedestrians.’
      • ‘How on earth did the Commission allow so undemocratic a situation to exist?’
      • ‘So I'm going to put it all to the back of my mind for a few days, and carry on as though the situation doesn't exist.’
      • ‘My friend said that the common law situation still exists under the current legislation.’
      • ‘The need for any warning exists most clearly in situations like those in the cases just considered.’
      • ‘This still existed under the Popular Unity government and continued oppressing the poor.’
      • ‘Yet that perception exists in the popular imagination, as our poll so depressingly illustrates.’
      • ‘Geist was not limited only to high culture, it also existed in popular culture and what we now call mass culture.’
      • ‘The new police signified a move away from a degree of popular control that had existed in some places over parish constables.’
      • ‘There exists sympathy for the situation, but hardly sympathy for the characters.’
      • ‘The culture is still developing and exists in a continuous process of change and renewal.’
      • ‘Meanwhile real hip hop remains in the underground existing beneath the line of sight of the masses.’
      • ‘Yet a sense of fractured identity, of cultural confusion, continues to exist.’
      • ‘A similar rule exists throughout Europe and it is important that everyone respects it.’
      • ‘The same common law defence of lawful correction currently exists in New South Wales.’
      prevail, occur, be found, be met with, be in existence
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  • 2Live, especially under adverse conditions.

    ‘a minority of people exist on unemployment benefit alone’
    • ‘how am I going to exist without you?’
    • ‘I don't want you to get the idea that I exist on takeaways and ready meals, because I don't.’
    • ‘We exist on donations and all volunteers are drawn mainly from local churches.’
    • ‘Are we making it so easy for them to exist on begging that they feel no need to do any work?’
    • ‘The question is whether we can regard one of them as so abnormal that she is not able to exist on her own.’
    • ‘Middle class professionals are now rare as everyone exists from day to day, just surviving.’
    survive, subsist, live, stay alive, support oneself, eke out a living, eke out an existence
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/ɪɡˈzɪst/ /ɛɡˈzɪst/


Early 17th century probably a back-formation from existence.