9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ig-zist] /ɪgˈzɪst/
verb (used without object)
to have actual being; be:
The world exists, whether you like it or not.
to have life or animation; live.
to continue to be or live:
Belief in magic still exists.
to have being in a specified place or under certain conditions; be found; occur:
Hunger exists in many parts of the world.
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 forms
exister, noun
nonexisting, adjective
unexisting, adjective
3. survive, persist, last, endure, stay, remain. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for existing
  • Two existing idioms are fused into a non-existent one.
  • There is not enough room for existing species to split into new ones.
  • Still, some environmentalists and coastal homeowners want to block new farms and have existing ones dismantled.
  • He has proposed a squarish tower, sensibly set as far back from the existing structure as the rather tight lot allows.
  • And half of major surgical complications are avoidable with existing knowledge.
  • The new primary election law makes many important changes in hitherto existing conditions.
  • The pandemic is growing in many places, and strains resistant to all existing drugs are emerging.
  • Molecular switches provide a route around existing gene patents.
  • Unfortunately, existing weather records do not allow for detailed scientific studies of extreme cold.
  • Forming these nano-scale features on the absorbing material might be possible as a drop-in step in existing production lines.
British Dictionary definitions for existing


verb (intransitive)
to have being or reality; to be
to eke out a living; stay alive; survive: I can barely exist on this wage
to be living; live
to be present under specified conditions or in a specified place: sharks exist in the Pacific
  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 Forms
existing, adjective
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for existing



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
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