Definition of existence noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɪɡˈzɪstəns//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪɡˈzɪstəns//
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  1. 1  [uncountable] the state or fact of being real or living or of being present I was unaware of his existence until today. This is the oldest Hebrew manuscript in existence. Pakistan came into existence as an independent country in 1947. a crisis that threatens the industry’s continued existence
  2. 2  [countable] a way of living especially when this is difficult or boring The family endured a miserable existence in a cramped apartment. We led a poor but happy enough existence as children. They eke out a precarious existence (= they have hardly enough money to live on). The peasants depend on a good harvest for their very existence (= in order to continue to live).
  3. Word Originlate Middle English: from Old French, or from late Latin existentia, from Latin exsistere ‘come into being’, from ex- ‘out’ + sistere ‘take a stand’.Extra examples Christianity taught that our earthly existence was merely a preparation for life after death. Climate changes threaten the continued existence of the species. Darwin viewed the struggle for existence as being the major promoter of evolution. Deep down I resented his existence. El Cid’s actual existence is not in doubt. He claimed to be able to remember a previous existence. He didn’t believe in the existence of God. He lived a hand-to-mouth existence in the less attractive areas of London. He wanted to end his existence once and for all. How do you explain the existence of closely related species in widely separated locations? If you jump into a black hole you will get torn apart and crushed out of existence. Let’s battle on to maintain our existence. Scientists were able to verify the existence of this particle. She had lived such a sheltered existence. She questioned the existence of God. Since her illness, other people had become shadowy and had no real existence for her. The company’s existence depends on continued growth. The girl’s parents continued to ignore her very existence. The idea has been in existence for centuries. The idea of God in nature has been in existence for as long as human beings have worshipped. The mere existence of these strange creatures fascinated him. The organization came into existence ten years ago. The peasants depend on a good harvest for their very existence. The school owed its existence to the generosity of one man. The theory assumes the existence of a ‘meritocracy’—that there is equal opportunity for all. There is research that strongly supports the existence of repressed memories. There was a fear that the club might go out of existence for lack of support. They are striving to bring into existence a new kind of society. They eke out a precarious existence foraging in rubbish dumps. Throughout its entire existence, it has been a deeply contested concept. What are the chances of these molecules springing spontaneously into existence? a comfortable middle-class existence a virtual world that has no real existence any organism capable of independent existence his yearning for a more meaningful existence over the course of his company’s 20-year existence the mystery of human existence the nature and significance of the temporal mode of existence the only instrument of its kind in existence the possible existence of life beyond Earth the transition from one mode of existence to another Pakistan came into existence as an independent country after the war. The crisis threatens the industry’s continued existence. The family endured a miserable existence in a cramped and noisy apartment. The government sought to cast doubt on the very existence of a global warming problem. This is the oldest Hebrew manuscript in existence.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: existence

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