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verb [intransitive] exist pronunciation in American English /ɪɡˈzɪst/
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theyexist
he/she/itexists
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

      Opportunities exist in our company for experienced engineers.

      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.

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