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From Middle English insistence, derived from Old French insister (to insist). Compare Middle French insistance.

Morphologically insist +‎ -ence.


  • IPA(key): /ɪnˈsɪstəns/
  • (file)


insistence (countable and uncountable, plural insistences)

  1. The state of being insistent.
    • 1920, Edward Carpenter, Pagan and Christian Creeds, New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., published 1921, page 72:
      He made gourd-rattles (known in ever so many parts of the world) in which he rattled dried seeds or small pebbles with a most beguiling and rain-like insistence[.]
    • 1950 March, H. A. Vallance, “On Foot Across the Forth Bridge”, in Railway Magazine, page 147:
      The extreme depth of these channels, and the insistence of the Board of Trade on a headway of 150 ft. for the unrestricted passage of large ships, necessitated a high bridge with two main spans, and a central pier on Inchgarvie.
  2. An urgent demand.
  3. (fencing) The forcing of an attack through the parry, using strength.


Related terms[edit]