Definition of exist in English:



[no object]
  • 1Have objective reality or being.

    ‘dossiers existed on almost everyone of prominence’
    ‘there existed no organization to cope with espionage’
    • ‘Moreover, it seems that the objects exist independently of the mathematician.’
    • ‘The lottery win seemed like conclusive proof that Kiron existed, but in reality, it was no proof at all.’
    • ‘It was equivalent to saying that gravity did not exist on Earth and then proving it, right in front of her eyes.’
    • ‘As far as I know no similar analysis of party organizations exists for ethnicity.’
    • ‘According to one physicist reality only exists because we think it does.’
    • ‘This strange phenomena that exists in everyone is widespread all over the world.’
    • ‘Whether or not the object of a thought exists, it cannot be the case that a thought has no content, that its content is nothing.’
    • ‘There is a sense of a world existing objectively, outside the emotional dynamics of the drama.’
    • ‘It was fun to see new and wonderful things, things that could never exist in reality.’
    • ‘Today every object that existed yesterday is older than it was yesterday.’
    • ‘Being honest, kind and humane are good ideals to live by whether God exists or not.’
    • ‘These organizations still exist and try to function despite a general lack of funds.’
    • ‘The gulf exists objectively and has only deepened as a result of their behaviour.’
    • ‘Again, it is surprising that the most attractive faces do not even exist in reality.’
    • ‘The discovery suggests that life could exist on planets very different from Earth.’
    • ‘You had a group of reporters who wanted to prove that the weapons existed because everyone else said that they did not.’
    • ‘No basis exists for an objection related to paying the taxes or to the level of the taxes to be paid.’
    • ‘In other words, knowledge is always of a reality that exists independently of knowers and perceivers.’
    • ‘Some objects, now existing in scattered parts of the globe, are brought together.’
    • ‘What use is an instrument that keeps sending back images of objects that can't possibly exist?’
    live, be alive, be living, have life, breathe, draw breath
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    1. 1.1 Occur or be found, especially in a particular place or situation.
      ‘two conflicting stereotypes of housework exist in popular thinking’
      • ‘So I'm going to put it all to the back of my mind for a few days, and carry on as though the situation doesn't exist.’
      • ‘Meanwhile real hip hop remains in the underground existing beneath the line of sight of the masses.’
      • ‘A similar rule exists throughout Europe and it is important that everyone respects it.’
      • ‘How on earth did the Commission allow so undemocratic a situation to exist?’
      • ‘The culture is still developing and exists in a continuous process of change and renewal.’
      • ‘Geist was not limited only to high culture, it also existed in popular culture and what we now call mass culture.’
      • ‘Yet a sense of fractured identity, of cultural confusion, continues to exist.’
      • ‘But he adds the situation still exists where there are huge areas covered by one hub.’
      • ‘This is the situation that exists between Hawaii and the continental United States.’
      • ‘The situation that existed at present was a danger to motorists and pedestrians.’
      • ‘The need for any warning exists most clearly in situations like those in the cases just considered.’
      • ‘Lastly, we cannot ignore the tensions in the Gulf, where a warlike situation exists.’
      • ‘Yet that perception exists in the popular imagination, as our poll so depressingly illustrates.’
      • ‘The new police signified a move away from a degree of popular control that had existed in some places over parish constables.’
      • ‘A similar situation exists in the amount of traffic trying to use York.’
      • ‘There exists sympathy for the situation, but hardly sympathy for the characters.’
      • ‘This still existed under the Popular Unity government and continued oppressing the poor.’
      • ‘The worst possible situation is that which existed in the United States and in the Iraqi prison.’
      • ‘My friend said that the common law situation still exists under the current legislation.’
      • ‘The same common law defence of lawful correction currently exists in New South Wales.’
      prevail, occur, be found, be met with, be in existence
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  • 2Live, especially under adverse conditions.

    ‘a minority of people exist on unemployment benefit alone’
    ‘how am I going to exist without you?’
    • ‘I don't want you to get the idea that I exist on takeaways and ready meals, because I don't.’
    • ‘We exist on donations and all volunteers are drawn mainly from local churches.’
    • ‘Middle class professionals are now rare as everyone exists from day to day, just surviving.’
    • ‘The question is whether we can regard one of them as so abnormal that she is not able to exist on her own.’
    • ‘Are we making it so easy for them to exist on begging that they feel no need to do any work?’
    survive, subsist, live, stay alive, support oneself, eke out a living, eke out an existence
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Early 17th century: probably a back-formation from existence.