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exist - definition and synonyms

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verb [intransitive]     exist pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participleexisting
past tenseexisted
past participleexisted
  1. 1
    to be real, or to appear in the real world

    Dragons don’t exist.

    1. a.
      to be present in a particular place, time, or situation

      There is no evidence that life exists on other planets.

      She walked past me as if I didn’t exist.

      exist to do something:

      The union exists to promote your interests.

      cease to exist:

      The company officially ceased to exist at midnight on March 31st.

  2. 2
    to manage to live, especially under difficult conditions
    exist on:

    You can’t exist on only 500 calories a day.

    exist for:

    How can I exist for a week without seeing you?

    You can’t exist for long without water.



to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

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Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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