Definition of insist in English:



  • 1 Demand something forcefully, not accepting refusal.

    ‘she insisted on carrying her own bag’
    ‘I'll call him and cancel it, if you insist’
    • ‘Oxford University insist that students are accepted solely on the basis of ability.’
    • ‘The management is insisting that the drivers accept a fixed monthly salary instead.’
    • ‘If public demand for Robbie singles is really insisting they come out earlier, why not today?’
    • ‘It was the demands of his little granddaughter, insisting he untie a balloon.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Forced to accept, he continued to insist that the ambassadors must perform the kowtow.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘No one can demand a dialogue and insist only on being heard, as is happening today.’
    • ‘Yet the other, demanding Guillem apparently insists on approving all her photos.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He turned to the guard and began to list his demands, insisting on seeing his commander.’
    • ‘He is reluctant, but Helen insists, so we walk down the road this time, towards Victoria Park.’
    • ‘But it made her resent them for insisting so forcefully that she go along on the trip.’
    • ‘Downing Street demanded a replacement, insisting that the Prime Minister would only be interviewed by a man.’
    • ‘Clearing customs at an airport terminal, Wilkinson insists on pushing a luggage trolley.’
    • ‘It will be a great shame if the Council insists that the fence be removed.’
    • ‘Supporters of the constitution will accept a delay but insist the treaty must still be given a chance.’
    demand, command, require, dictate
    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
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    1. 1.1Demand forcefully to have something.
      ‘he insisted on answers to his allegations’
      • ‘Despite the vogue for very short focal distances, in glossy shots of food, for example, he insists on sharpness throughout.’
      • ‘Are we prepared to insist on our independence and demand to be treated by America as a friend, not a slave?’
      • ‘He may, thus, decide to claim payment at the appropriate date of maturity without insisting on having the lost receipt replaced.’
      • ‘They insisted on faster cases and other demands connected with the living conditions in the prison.’
      • ‘Protesters demand power as the government insists on a second round of voting.’
      • ‘Labor insists on amendments, the government accepts them under protest then claims Labor is weak on terror.’
      • ‘He said farmers must demand full value for their stock and insist on payment on the day.’
      • ‘Sitting in a position that finally demands respect, Shylock insists on his pound of flesh.’
      • ‘Soldiers at the border will demand a bribe and insist on payment before allowing the truck to go through.’
      • ‘But she insists on some ground rules - there are other things she wants to say and she wants them to go to air too.’
      • ‘India has 67,000 troops involved in 37 other UN missions but it insists on a full UN mandate.’
      • ‘Firms all insisted on public liability cover, which had pushed up prices.’
      • ‘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’.’
      • ‘That is why the ruling class is insisting on the formation of a national unity government to push through its agenda.’
      • ‘Jason, who has reading difficulties, is now said to be so paranoid that he insists on supervision while taking the rubbish out at night.’
      • ‘Not content with bag searches and scans with hand-held metal detectors, this chap insists on a proper pat-down search.’
      • ‘Some countries insist on food security, although many of their demands are absurd.’
      • ‘My source on this is very highly placed, and usually insists on complete confidentiality.’
      • ‘Another top European runner always insists on an opt-out clause if the race day temperature is above 30 degrees.’
      • ‘By demanding austerity while insisting on liberalization, it disregards basic social needs.’
    2. 1.2Persist in doing something even though it is annoying or odd.
      ‘the heavy studded boots she insisted on wearing’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Yet Segal insists on cutting to shots of faces whenever the dialogue begins to build any momentum.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3[reporting verb]Maintain or put forward a statement 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 organisation insists most people favour restrictions on smoking, as opposed to a total ban.’
      • ‘Texaco insists that it was simply a business move in the light of falling profits.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Nothing has been said in his diaries, he insists, that his wife Jane has not already seen and approved.’
      • ‘The substantial financing needed for such an operation came from abroad, Moscow insists.’
      • ‘The salesperson in question insists that she told me I could not use body lotion on my face.’
      • ‘However he insists that this can only be good for the development of his players.’
      • ‘Those who know him insist he's driven by an utter inability to accept defeat.’
      • ‘The only reason for the current grungey look, he insists, is that he's been too busy to do anything about it.’
      • ‘The government insists that no court has power to interfere in the manner of detention.’
      • ‘Yet those who endorse it insist that it is of paramount theological importance.’
      • ‘Hall insists that girls do best in girls' schools and are more likely to choose science subjects there.’
      • ‘She kept insisting that accepting the gifts did not mean she was rejecting Jason.’
      • ‘He accepts she visited his coffee bar but insists she never identified herself to him while in Cambodia.’
      • ‘Experiencing a mild hallucination of this sort is a good sign for the biographer, Geoff insists.’
      • ‘The groups then fell to arguing amongst themselves each insisting its definition was correct and all the others were wrong.’
      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.