Definition of existence in English:



mass noun
  • 1The fact or state of living or having objective reality.

    ‘the organization has been in existence for fifteen years’
    • ‘Your brother, Matthew, does not know of your existence at this time.’
    • ‘In fact, this arrangement may be the only one in existence anywhere in the United States.’
    • ‘The orcas in question are already on the endangered list in Canada - and, in fact, there are only 80 in existence.’
    • ‘In fact, there's only one other similar document in existence.’
    • ‘What we discovered was truly frightening and made us question our own existence in this strange, strange world.’
    • ‘I was so stunned to know he acknowledged my mere existence.’
    • ‘Whatever their limitations - and there are many - the passions are a prerequisite of everyday human existence.’
    • ‘In fact, its existence was barely acknowledged.’
    • ‘He had found that an atheist is one who denies the existence of God.’
    • ‘Heralded the most valuable natural object in existence, on a weight to weight basis, experts believe that the diamond is the only one of its kind.’
    • ‘Despite the fact that the club has only been in existence for a short time, both teams acquitted themselves well.’
    • ‘Selfhood, life and mere existence are meaningless if not suffused with this life-giving force.’
    • ‘I was unaware of its existence at the time I wrote my text.’
    • ‘I want to enjoy my existence on this earth, be happy and make merry.’
    • ‘Secular humanists are basically atheists who deny the very existence of a personal living God.’
    • ‘He was called away from temporal existence on November 12.’
    • ‘He has always written songs with a message and can claim to have been preaching the green gospel long before the Green Party came into existence.’
    • ‘It's one of the few publications in existence that is actually eminently more readable on the Net than it is on paper.’
    • ‘She stares at me like I'm the stupidest human being in existence.’
    • ‘Although 0% credit cards haven't actually been in existence for that long it's hard to remember a time before them!’
    alive, existing, extant, existent
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Continued survival.
      ‘she kept the company alive when its very existence was threatened’
      • ‘Therefore, our existence on earth is linked to our ability to see solar eclipses.’
      • ‘Our existence on the planet is ecologically intimately bound to the life of trees.’
      • ‘Why use that excuse to justify the continued existence of slavery?’
      • ‘Unity with nature is the foundation of man's existence on the planet.’
      • ‘Bedouin existence depended on their herds and flocks.’
      • ‘The commercial director has been charged with the job of getting the club's finances back in order with the serious situation threatening its very existence.’
      • ‘Single-party regimes enjoy continued existence, in part, because they enjoy an air of infallibility.’
      • ‘Whenever we attended we found ourselves in pointless meetings with people justifying their own existence.’
      • ‘It would fool people into thinking that by joining and supporting the aims of Countryside Ireland that they are supporting the existence of rural Ireland.’
      • ‘These leaders realised that if this madness continued the very existence of the people was at stake.’
      • ‘Do I then believe that human existence depends on social and economic changes?’
      • ‘Everyday there is a new crisis of modernity that threatens our continued existence.’
      • ‘The candidates for this system were generally documents whose continued existence would very likely undermine the legitimacy of the State.’
      • ‘The series is named after a unit in the Metropolitan Police, whose continued existence the force will neither confirm nor deny.’
      • ‘The world yet again faces another mind-boggling issue which threatens the existence of human beings on planet earth.’
      • ‘Their thoughts are controlled by men, and their very existence depends on men.’
      • ‘It's not a threat to national security, it's not threatening the continued existence of Australia as a nation state, or anything like that.’
      • ‘Even so, the company says the cars are not selling well enough to justify their continued existence.’
      • ‘They see that military operations have increased and pose a threat to our people's existence and survival as a culture and ethnic entity.’
      • ‘The Jewish working class, not entirely without reason, identified its own survival with the continued existence of this state.’
      • ‘Parts of both have survived into the 21st century, but their continued existence is precarious.’
      actuality, being, existing, reality, fact
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2count noun A way of living.
      ‘our stressed-out urban existence’
      • ‘The fact that we would have to eke out a miserable existence as rural farmers has not occurred to them.’
      • ‘In their daily lives Americans, and not only those living in smaller communities, lead an impoverished existence.’
      • ‘Such an existence would be indescribably chaotic, no underlying reason or logic behind anything.’
      • ‘Most of the people live a subsistence existence, obtaining a living from growing rice, goats, poultry or fishing.’
      • ‘Freedom from physical threats and safe living conditions are the foundations of a dignified existence just as much as civic and human rights.’
      • ‘However, surviving on minimal water resources could result in farmers having to lead a precarious existence, depending heavily on seasonal rains.’
      • ‘I believe it is to enable us to lead a civilised domestic life where we can conduct a sociable existence while at the same time providing hospitality for our friends and family.’
      • ‘People living a hand-to-mouth existence are turning to ' buy-back stores' to get their hands on ready money.’
      • ‘This album is entirely a product of living and coping with a city existence.’
      • ‘No doubt, the number of survivors eking out a precarious existence must far exceed the death toll.’
      • ‘No matter how you tried to live a stress-free existence, always there would be something to get you all riled up.’
      • ‘People here live a hand-to-mouth existence, picking through the trash for something of value.’
      • ‘Enlisting Crumb's help, he writes a series that chronicles his mundane, day-to-day existence.’
      • ‘No matter how people try to maintain a normal existence, there is an underlying hysteria waiting to rear its pulsating head.’
      • ‘After living on a commune, he and his wife moved to Burlington, joining so many other back-to-the-landers looking to flee their harried urban existences.’
      • ‘An odd sort of surrealness has glazed over the events of the past two weeks as I continue my relatively peaceful existence on my college campus.’
      • ‘The reward for the risk taken pays rent, feeds children, and supports a subsistence level existence.’
      • ‘Muddling along and having panic attacks a year or two before your child has to attend secondary school or university is not conducive to a stress-free existence.’
      • ‘Yet they lead a tough existence, working very hard, barely eking out a living under frequently demeaning circumstances.’
      • ‘In a frequently harsh, small-scale subsistence existence, people were all too aware of nature and her awesome powers.’
      way of life, way of living, manner of living, life, lifestyle, circumstances, situation
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3count noun (in certain beliefs) any of a person's successive earthly lives.
      ‘a person may be reaping the consequences of evil deeds sown in previous existences’
      • ‘There is no doubt that he (who observes a fast on that day) is freed from the sin due to speech, mental sin or especially bodily sin committed during the seven existences.’
      • ‘We were vulnerable to one another, having changed roles and forms countless times in previous existences.’
      • ‘In previous existences, this electronic engineer brought cable TV to Sligo and helped get Sligo airport off the ground.’
      • ‘An individual's role throughout life is fixed by his or her good and evil deeds in a previous existence.’
      • ‘She was saying that Alice Hraldy has been able to contact the entity that had been J.S. Bach in a previous existence.’
      • ‘The purpose of such rites is to separate people from a previous existence.’
      • ‘But I'm not a believer in past lives, so I knew it was no echo from a previous existence.’
      • ‘Many people have experimented with past life regression under hypnosis and claim to recall experiences from previous existences.’
      • ‘In a previous existence Ms Honeyball was a probation officer, dedicated to keeping real criminals out of jail in order to make room for villains like Mr Bloom.’
      • ‘Dr. Allan thinks he has met Dr. Bernadette before (in a previous existence, it is strongly implied).’
      • ‘I suggested, maybe, that he'd have the chef cook me a fresh one - the miserable lump was not only cold but had been burnt in a previous existence.’
      • ‘Both could recall memories of previous existences on Earth and indeed this idea is a very natural one given the cyclical nature of time as observed in the seasons and years.’
      • ‘Of a previous existence I know no more than others, for all have stammering intimations that may be memories and may be dreams.’
      • ‘Some may know that I will admit to having had a violin in my possession in a previous existence.’
    4. 1.4 All that exists.
      ‘he believed in the essential unity of all existence’
      • ‘Eventually the stars would burn out and a curtain of frozen darkness would enshroud all existence.’
      • ‘I don't know, and don't care, because in either case it does not affect my reality and my place in existence.’
    5. 1.5archaic count noun Something that exists; a being.
      • ‘There is no limit to the ever-increasing number of deified existences.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from late Latin existentia, from Latin exsistere ‘come into being’, from ex- ‘out’ + sistere ‘take a stand’.