Definition of desist in English:


Pronunciation /dɪˈzɪst//dɪˈsɪst/


  • Stop doing something; cease or abstain:

    ‘each pledged to desist from acts of sabotage’
    • ‘She said the police officer ordered the two bickering women to cease and desist, but the women ignored him.’
    • ‘One of the basic cellular courtesies is desisting from using the cell while driving.’
    • ‘He had even confronted him with an ultimatum to cease and desist or find a new job.’
    • ‘Frankly, I hope that he desists from knocking on my door at seven in the morning with some trivial problem, but I am not over-optimistic.’
    • ‘I do not think people would desist from lodging an employment appeal case if they did not think the organisation was taking them seriously.’
    • ‘I am currently obtaining signatures on a petition to the Home Secretary, to ask him to desist from imprisoning pensioners.’
    • ‘All other followers are threatened or enticed to cease and desist.’
    • ‘The management warned the group to cease and desist from using this name.’
    • ‘Perhaps if anyone caught dumping litter had a delivery from the refuse collection wagon instead of a collection, they might desist.’
    • ‘Sometimes, I just write to the person involved and ask them nicely to cease and desist.’
    • ‘The dream of achieving such strategic parity is more powerful than any pressure to cease and desist.’
    • ‘Perhaps if those who reviled and insulted Said could have read this book, they might have desisted.’
    • ‘So let's all put a stop to this tomfoolery and cease and desist from giving these Ministers pats on the back for their poor behavior.’
    • ‘He has no permission under the law to do so and I would advise him to cease and desist.’
    • ‘Builders and developers should desist from destroying lakes and trees to make room for residential layouts.’
    • ‘Unruly patients will begin with an informal warning from a senior manager, but failure to desist will result in a yellow card being issued.’
    • ‘However, he said he would desist from doing that now that motions to change the policy have been submitted to Congress.’
    • ‘These figures are the most valid argument yet that they should cease and desist and retire from the field immediately.’
    • ‘He was warned to cease and desist, but now, he insisted that he had to perform that way!’
    • ‘He also ordered that they were to desist from causing obstruction to council workers or trespass on council offices.’
    abstain, refrain, forbear, hold back, keep
    stop, cease, discontinue, suspend, give up, quit, break off, leave off, conclude, call a halt to, call a stop to, forgo, drop, dispense with, eschew, have done with, wash one's hands of
    lay off, give over, pack in, pack up
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Old French desister, from Latin desistere, from de- down from + sistere to stop (reduplication of stare to stand).