Other forms: subsisted; subsisting; subsists

When you subsist, you keep yourself alive. Since most airlines have stopped serving food, many travelers are forced to subsist on little packets of pretzels, even on long flights.

To subsist is to feed yourself, or keep yourself going, especially when you just barely manage to do so. A hunger striker might subsist on only water for weeks, and people in developing countries often have to subsist on small rations of rice or grain. Subsist comes from the Latin word subsistere, "to stand firm," but sometimes subsisting makes people feel like they are barely standing, rather than firmly standing.

Definitions of subsist
  1. verb
    support oneself
    “Many people in the world have to subsist on $1 a day”
    synonyms: exist, live, survive
    endure, go, hold out, hold up, last, live, live on, survive
    continue to live through hardship or adversity
    see moresee less
    be alive
    drift, freewheel
    live unhurriedly, irresponsibly, or freely
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘subsist'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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