Definition of insist in English:



[no object]
  • 1Demand something forcefully, not accepting refusal.

    ‘she insisted on carrying her own bag’
    with clause ‘he insisted that she came’
    • ‘I'm not a member but one of my clients always insists on meeting there, and who am I to argue, given that only members can buy drinks there?’
    • ‘Supporters of the constitution will accept a delay but insist the treaty must still be given a chance.’
    • ‘Yet the other, demanding Guillem apparently insists on approving all her photos.’
    • ‘The management is insisting that the drivers accept a fixed monthly salary instead.’
    • ‘But it made her resent them for insisting so forcefully that she go along on the trip.’
    • ‘He turned to the guard and began to list his demands, insisting on seeing his commander.’
    • ‘Though the airport authorities urge him to leave the coffin at the airport and go to a hotel, the youth insists on staying with it.’
    • ‘Oxford University insist that students are accepted solely on the basis of ability.’
    • ‘Downing Street demanded a replacement, insisting that the Prime Minister would only be interviewed by a man.’
    • ‘Forced to accept, he continued to insist that the ambassadors must perform the kowtow.’
    • ‘It will be a great shame if the Council insists that the fence be removed.’
    • ‘Clearing customs at an airport terminal, Wilkinson insists on pushing a luggage trolley.’
    • ‘It was the demands of his little granddaughter, insisting he untie a balloon.’
    • ‘It is worth considering going elsewhere if a trader insists that you pay up front and there does not seem to be a good reason.’
    • ‘No one can demand a dialogue and insist only on being heard, as is happening today.’
    • ‘He is reluctant, but Helen insists, so we walk down the road this time, towards Victoria Park.’
    • ‘In the Gazette article Mr Billings insists we separate people's private and public lives.’
    • ‘John was a demanding lover who insisted that I put him before everything else.’
    • ‘If public demand for Robbie singles is really insisting they come out earlier, why not today?’
    stand firm, be firm, stand one's ground, make a stand, stand up for oneself, be resolute, be determined, show determination, hold on, hold out, be emphatic, not take no for an answer, brook no refusal
    demand, command, require, dictate
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    1. 1.1insist on Demand forcefully to have (something)
      ‘he insisted on answers to his allegations’
      • ‘Another top European runner always insists on an opt-out clause if the race day temperature is above 30 degrees.’
      • ‘Protesters demand power as the government insists on a second round of voting.’
      • ‘My source on this is very highly placed, and usually insists on complete confidentiality.’
      • ‘Firms all insisted on public liability cover, which had pushed up prices.’
      • ‘Despite the vogue for very short focal distances, in glossy shots of food, for example, he insists on sharpness throughout.’
      • ‘Some countries insist on food security, although many of their demands are absurd.’
      • ‘By demanding austerity while insisting on liberalization, it disregards basic social needs.’
      • ‘They insisted on faster cases and other demands connected with the living conditions in the prison.’
      • ‘He may, thus, decide to claim payment at the appropriate date of maturity without insisting on having the lost receipt replaced.’
      • ‘But she insists on some ground rules - there are other things she wants to say and she wants them to go to air too.’
      • ‘Labor insists on amendments, the government accepts them under protest then claims Labor is weak on terror.’
      • ‘Not content with bag searches and scans with hand-held metal detectors, this chap insists on a proper pat-down search.’
      • ‘Jason, who has reading difficulties, is now said to be so paranoid that he insists on supervision while taking the rubbish out at night.’
      • ‘Soldiers at the border will demand a bribe and insist on payment before allowing the truck to go through.’
      • ‘He said farmers must demand full value for their stock and insist on payment on the day.’
      • ‘India has 67,000 troops involved in 37 other UN missions but it insists on a full UN mandate.’
      • ‘Sitting in a position that finally demands respect, Shylock insists on his pound of flesh.’
      • ‘That is why the ruling class is insisting on the formation of a national unity government to push through its agenda.’
      • ‘Are we prepared to insist on our independence and demand to be treated by America as a friend, not a slave?’
      • ‘In fact it is seen as an act of idiocy if a filmmaker insists on having all of them present to get a ‘good effect’.’
      call for, ask for, request, press for, push for, hold out for, clamour for, bay for
      insist on, stipulate, make a condition of, exact, impose
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    2. 1.2insist on Persist in (doing something)
      ‘the heavy studded boots she insisted on wearing’
      • ‘The press doggedly insists on telling us how many soldiers have died since May 1st.’
      • ‘Bauman patently sees no place for himself in a media world that insists on drumming the tedious rhythms of consumerism into the public psyche.’
      • ‘The author of this movie review clearly did not enjoy the movie and insists in putting it down.’
      • ‘Despite his business commitments, Martin insists on milking his 50 cows at least once per day.’
      • ‘Yet Segal insists on cutting to shots of faces whenever the dialogue begins to build any momentum.’
      • ‘No man should have fatherhood thrust upon him in a situation where the woman insists on going to term because she objects to abortion on moral grounds.’
      • ‘But if the high command insists on pressing ahead, it may find that the fallout goes a lot further than the fate of one MP.’
      • ‘Throughout the album, The Game insists on dropping names over and over.’
      • ‘It will claim he was difficult to work with, insisting on micro-managing the project.’
    3. 1.3reporting verb State positively and assertively.
      with clause ‘the chairman insisted that all was not doom and gloom’
      with direct speech ‘‘I really am all right now,’ Isabel insisted’
      • ‘The salesperson in question insists that she told me I could not use body lotion on my face.’
      • ‘Those who know him insist he's driven by an utter inability to accept defeat.’
      • ‘Hall insists that girls do best in girls' schools and are more likely to choose science subjects there.’
      • ‘He accepts she visited his coffee bar but insists she never identified herself to him while in Cambodia.’
      • ‘The substantial financing needed for such an operation came from abroad, Moscow insists.’
      • ‘The only reason for the current grungey look, he insists, is that he's been too busy to do anything about it.’
      • ‘Experiencing a mild hallucination of this sort is a good sign for the biographer, Geoff insists.’
      • ‘Yet those who endorse it insist that it is of paramount theological importance.’
      • ‘She kept insisting that accepting the gifts did not mean she was rejecting Jason.’
      • ‘Labour politicians who accept hospitality and sponsorship insist they can't be bought.’
      • ‘When urged to flee from the Nazis in 1937, he insisted that his real enemy was the Church.’
      • ‘The organisation insists most people favour restrictions on smoking, as opposed to a total ban.’
      • ‘The government insists that no court has power to interfere in the manner of detention.’
      • ‘Texaco insists that it was simply a business move in the light of falling profits.’
      • ‘However he insists that this can only be good for the development of his players.’
      • ‘The groups then fell to arguing amongst themselves each insisting its definition was correct and all the others were wrong.’
      • ‘Nothing has been said in his diaries, he insists, that his wife Jane has not already seen and approved.’
      • ‘So they parted, with Drake insisting that he had important family matters to take care of.’
      • ‘It is not fair to blame the Safer York Partnership for failings in the fight against crime, he insists.’
      • ‘Lewisham Council insists there will be no shortage of secondary school places in September.’
      maintain, assert, hold, contend, argue, protest, claim, aver, avow, vow, swear, state, declare, announce, pronounce, proclaim, propound, be emphatic, emphasize, stress, repeat, reiterate
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Late 16th century (in the sense ‘persist, persevere’): from Latin insistere ‘persist’, from in- ‘upon’ + sistere ‘stand’.