Definition of existence in US English:

existence

noun

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

    ‘the plane was the oldest Boeing remaining in existence’
    ‘the need to acknowledge the existence of a problem’
    • ‘I was so stunned to know he acknowledged my mere existence.’
    • ‘Secular humanists are basically atheists who deny the very existence of a personal living God.’
    • ‘It's one of the few publications in existence that is actually eminently more readable on the Net than it is on paper.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I want to enjoy my existence on this earth, be happy and make merry.’
    • ‘Although 0% credit cards haven't actually been in existence for that long it's hard to remember a time before them!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Whatever their limitations - and there are many - the passions are a prerequisite of everyday human existence.’
    • ‘In fact, its existence was barely acknowledged.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I was unaware of its existence at the time I wrote my text.’
    • ‘What we discovered was truly frightening and made us question our own existence in this strange, strange world.’
    • ‘He had found that an atheist is one who denies the existence of God.’
    • ‘Despite the fact that the club has only been in existence for a short time, both teams acquitted themselves well.’
    • ‘In fact, there's only one other similar document in existence.’
    • ‘She stares at me like I'm the stupidest human being in existence.’
    • ‘Selfhood, life and mere existence are meaningless if not suffused with this life-giving force.’
    • ‘The orcas in question are already on the endangered list in Canada - and, in fact, there are only 80 in existence.’
    • ‘He was called away from temporal existence on November 12.’
    alive, existing, extant, existent
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Continued survival.
      ‘she helped to keep the company alive when its very existence was threatened’
      • ‘These leaders realised that if this madness continued the very existence of the people was at stake.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Therefore, our existence on earth is linked to our ability to see solar eclipses.’
      • ‘The candidates for this system were generally documents whose continued existence would very likely undermine the legitimacy of the State.’
      • ‘Their thoughts are controlled by men, and their very existence depends on men.’
      • ‘The series is named after a unit in the Metropolitan Police, whose continued existence the force will neither confirm nor deny.’
      • ‘Even so, the company says the cars are not selling well enough to justify their continued existence.’
      • ‘Bedouin existence depended on their herds and flocks.’
      • ‘Everyday there is a new crisis of modernity that threatens our continued existence.’
      • ‘The world yet again faces another mind-boggling issue which threatens the existence of human beings on planet earth.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They see that military operations have increased and pose a threat to our people's existence and survival as a culture and ethnic entity.’
      • ‘Do I then believe that human existence depends on social and economic changes?’
      • ‘Single-party regimes enjoy continued existence, in part, because they enjoy an air of infallibility.’
      • ‘Parts of both have survived into the 21st century, but their continued existence is precarious.’
      • ‘The Jewish working class, not entirely without reason, identified its own survival with the continued existence of this state.’
      • ‘Why use that excuse to justify the continued existence of slavery?’
      • ‘Our existence on the planet is ecologically intimately bound to the life of trees.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Unity with nature is the foundation of man's existence on the planet.’
      actuality, being, existing, reality, fact
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    2. 1.2 A way of living.
      ‘living in a city was more expensive than a rural existence’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 here live a hand-to-mouth existence, picking through the trash for something of value.’
      • ‘No matter how people try to maintain a normal existence, there is an underlying hysteria waiting to rear its pulsating head.’
      • ‘No doubt, the number of survivors eking out a precarious existence must far exceed the death toll.’
      • ‘The fact that we would have to eke out a miserable existence as rural farmers has not occurred to them.’
      • ‘The reward for the risk taken pays rent, feeds children, and supports a subsistence level existence.’
      • ‘Enlisting Crumb's help, he writes a series that chronicles his mundane, day-to-day existence.’
      • ‘In a frequently harsh, small-scale subsistence existence, people were all too aware of nature and her awesome powers.’
      • ‘Yet they lead a tough existence, working very hard, barely eking out a living under frequently demeaning circumstances.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Such an existence would be indescribably chaotic, no underlying reason or logic behind anything.’
      • ‘No matter how you tried to live a stress-free existence, always there would be something to get you all riled up.’
      • ‘In their daily lives Americans, and not only those living in smaller communities, lead an impoverished existence.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Most of the people live a subsistence existence, obtaining a living from growing rice, goats, poultry or fishing.’
      • ‘This album is entirely a product of living and coping with a city 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.’
      • ‘People living a hand-to-mouth existence are turning to ' buy-back stores' to get their hands on ready money.’
      way of life, way of living, manner of living, life, lifestyle, circumstances, situation
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 Any of a person's supposed current, future, or past lives on this earth.
      ‘reaping the consequences of evil deeds sown in previous existences’
      • ‘Dr. Allan thinks he has met Dr. Bernadette before (in a previous existence, it is strongly implied).’
      • ‘An individual's role throughout life is fixed by his or her good and evil deeds in a previous existence.’
      • ‘Of a previous existence I know no more than others, for all have stammering intimations that may be memories and may be dreams.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She was saying that Alice Hraldy has been able to contact the entity that had been J.S. Bach in 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.’
      • ‘We were vulnerable to one another, having changed roles and forms countless times 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.’
      • ‘Some may know that I will admit to having had a violin in my possession in a previous existence.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In previous existences, this electronic engineer brought cable TV to Sligo and helped get Sligo airport off the ground.’
      • ‘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.’
    4. 1.4 All that exists.
      • ‘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 A being or entity.
      • ‘There is no limit to the ever-increasing number of deified existences.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

existence

/ɪɡˈzɪstəns//iɡˈzistəns/