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[dih-zist, -sist] /dɪˈzɪst, -ˈsɪst/
verb (used without object)
to cease, as from some action or proceeding; stop.
Origin of desist
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Old French desister < Latin dēsistere to leave off, equivalent to dē- de- + sistere to stand, place, akin to stāre to stand
Related forms
desistance, desistence, noun
nondesistance, noun
nondesistence, noun
nondesisting, adjective, noun
undesisting, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for desist
  • Establishes strong oversight board with cease and desist authority c.
  • So cease and desist or the next voice you will hear will be that of my attorney.
  • But such regimes need to believe that they can desist and still be safe.
  • The tribunals can only levy small fines and give an order to desist.
  • The writer should desist from writing such biased articles.
  • Thus, the vengeful warriors desist from burning the fort and the settlers in it.
  • Bees tell each other to cease and desist by butting their heads against their colony-mates.
  • The executioners thereupon being commanded to desist, he began to entertain him with an account of his travels.
  • He advised him to desist from drinking and the patient promised to follow his advice.
  • The western powers should desist from intervention in all countries except those where they have already messed up.
British Dictionary definitions for desist


(intransitive) often foll by from. to cease, as from an action; stop or abstain
Derived Forms
desistance, desistence, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French desister, from Latin dēsistere to leave off, stand apart, from de- + sistere to stand, halt
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for desist

mid-15c., from Middle French désister (mid-14c.), from Latin desistere "to stand aside, leave off, cease," from de- "off" (see de-) + sistere "stop, come to a stand" (see assist). Related: Desisted; desisting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with desist


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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