Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To be resolute or firm in a demand or course.
  • intransitive verb To assert or demand (something) firmly or persistently.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To stand or rest; find support: with on or upon.
  • To rest, dwell, or dilate earnestly or repeatedly; urge: with on or upon: as, I must insist upon your coming.
  • To assert or argue emphatically; express a desire or a belief with urgency or persistence.
  • To be urgent in action; proceed persistently; persevere.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb rare To stand or rest; to find support; -- with in, on, or upon.
  • intransitive verb To take a stand and refuse to give way; to hold to something firmly or determinedly; to be persistent, urgent, or pressing; to persist in demanding; -- followed by on, upon, or that

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To hold up a claim emphatically.
  • verb To demand continually that something happen or be done.
  • verb obsolete To stand on; to rest upon; to lean upon. Used especially as a technical term in geometry.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb be emphatic or resolute and refuse to budge
  • verb beg persistently and urgently
  • verb assert to be true

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin īnsistere, to persist : in-, on; see in– + sistere, to stand; see stā- in Indo-European roots.]

Examples

  • 'I think I know more about that than you do,' replied Joel, with an air which would have done credit to a _diplomat_, 'and, I assure you, Ellen will _not_ be left penniless; and if you will insist on her going with you for a short time -- mind, I say _insist_ -- I promise before long to make certain disclosures which will satisfy you as to my assertion.

    The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No. 2, August, 1862 Devoted to Literature and National Policy

  • Through it all he would insist — insist is a verb I find I must work hard in this context — that all he needed was to be left alone.

    Letting Go of My Father

  • The Democratic National Committee raised $16 million in September alone, a startlingly strong month of fundraising that party operatives insist is a sign of momentum for their side with roughly one month remaining before the November midterms.

    DNC rakes in $16 million in September

  • Bordered by the Anacostia River (which many insist is rightfully named the Eastern Branch), Pennsylvania Avenue, 25th Street, Naylor Road and Good Hope Road, Fairlawn is a mix of traditional D.C. rowhouses, detached single-family homes and apartment buildings.

    Optimism is alive in Southeast D.C. neighborhood of Fairlawn

  • Through it all he would insist — insist is a verb I find I must work hard in this context — that all he needed was to be left alone.

    Letting Go of My Father

  • Both the United States and Britain insist that, to keep the country from imploding, it is essential that the Balkan nation remain under the political authority of an internationally appointed "High Representative," who governs the nation's affairs.

    Elmira Bayrasli: Electing an Independent Bosnia: The High Representative Must Go

  • Someone up-thread noted that you seem to be exercised about the fact that we have a constitutional republic, which you insist is indistinguishable from a democracy.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Taking the Washington Post to School

  • Through it all he would insist — insist is a verb I find I must work hard in this context — that all he needed was to be left alone.

    Letting Go of My Father

  • Someone up-thread noted that you seem to be exercised about the fact that we have a constitutional republic, which you insist is indistinguishable from a democracy.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Taking the Washington Post to School

  • The Democratic National Committee raised $16 million in September alone, a startlingly strong month of fundraising that party operatives insist is a sign of momentum for their side with roughly one month remaining before the November midterms.

    The Fix: DNC rakes in $16 million in September

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