verb (used without object)

  1. to have actual being; be: The world exists, whether you like it or not.
  2. to have life or animation; live.
  3. to continue to be or live: Belief in magic still exists.
  4. to have being in a specified place or under certain conditions; be found; occur: Hunger exists in many parts of the world.
  5. to achieve the basic needs of existence, as food and shelter: He’s not living, he’s merely existing.

verb (intr)

  1. to have being or reality; to be
  2. to eke out a living; stay alive; surviveI can barely exist on this wage
  3. to be living; live
  4. to be present under specified conditions or in a specified placesharks exist in the Pacific
  5. philosophy
    1. to be actual rather than merely possible
    2. to be a member of the domain of some theory, an element of some possible world, etc
    3. to have contingent being while free, responsible, and aware of one’s situation

v.c.1600, from French exister (17c.), from Latin existere/exsistere “to step out, stand forth, emerge, appear; exist, be” (see existence). “The late appearance of the word is remarkable” [OED]. Related: Existed; existing.

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