1. The fact or state of existing; being.
2. The fact or state of continued being; life: our brief existence on Earth.
a. All that exists: sang the beauty of all existence.
b. A thing that exists; an entity.
4. A mode or manner of existing: scratched out a meager existence.
5. Specific presence; occurrence: The Geiger counter indicated the existence of radioactivity.
Synonyms: existence, actuality, being
These nouns denote the fact or state of existing: laws in existence for centuries; an idea progressing from possibility to actuality; a nation that came into being after much turmoil.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.