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[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 insisting
  • He set the bar higher than anyone before him, insisting on climbing mountains by new routes or in winter.
  • But the surfers refused, insisting they were fine and had the situation under control.
  • Again, he committed the error of insisting that literary inefficiency must be accompanied by moral degradation.
  • Until the student is fairly sure that his problem is soluble, he gains little by obstinately insisting on solving it.
  • Conversely, the missus needs to be upfront about why she's insisting on access.
  • Brown begins his rant by insisting that mankind faces imminent food shortages.
  • But the energy company shills will keep insisting on it.
  • We are crippling ourselves by insisting on exclusive dependence on an increasingly expensive energy.
  • It lends power to the chorus of voices insisting that evolutionary psychology should be considered more a movement than a science.
  • It means insisting on asking the questions for which they may have no good answers.
British Dictionary definitions for insisting


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 insisting



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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