9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[in-sist] /ɪnˈsɪst/
verb (used without object)
to be emphatic, firm, or resolute on some matter of desire, demand, intention, etc.:
He insists on checking every shipment.
to lay emphasis in assertion:
to insist on the justice of a claim.
to dwell with earnestness or emphasis (usually followed by on or upon):
to insist on a point in a discussion.
verb (used with object)
to assert or maintain firmly:
He insists that he saw the ghosts.
to demand or persist in demanding:
I insist that you see this thing through.
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 forms
insister, noun
insistingly, adverb
overinsist, verb (used without object)
reinsist, verb (used without object)
superinsist, verb (used without object)
5. urge, require. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for insist
  • Nuclear power has many unmatched virtues, its advocates insist.
  • Insurance companies insist their dizzying array of products meets our need for peace of mind.
  • Skeptics insist this could be due to the power of suggestion.
  • It's quite another to insist that it's not even a war.
  • The opponents of earmarks insist that scientific peer review is the soundest method for distributing federal money for science.
  • But wireless providers insist things won't stay that way for long.
  • Most urban planners insist that the city must write off some areas for the rest to survive.
  • Yet, the conservationists in charge of the move insist that the relocation of the elephants is necessary.
  • And, once again, critics insist that the entire project is a costly boondoggle and should be abandoned.
  • It matters to police departments, who insist they fielded the right number of officers.
British Dictionary definitions for insist


to make a determined demand (for): he insisted that his rights be respected, he insisted on his rights
to express a convinced belief (in) or assertion (of): he insisted that she was mad, he insisted on her madness
Derived Forms
insister, noun
insistingly, 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
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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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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