Consist Con*sist" (k[o^]n*s[i^]st"), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Consisted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Consisting}.] [L. consistere to stand still or firm; con- + sistere to stand, cause to stand, stare to stand: cf. F. consister. See {Stand}.] 1. To stand firm; to be in a fixed or permanent state, as a body composed of parts in union or connection; to hold together; to be; to exist; to subsist; to be supported and maintained. [1913 Webster]

He is before all things, and by him all things consist. --Col. i. 17. [1913 Webster]

2. To be composed or made up; -- followed by of. [1913 Webster]

The land would consist of plains and valleys. --T. Burnet. [1913 Webster]

3. To have as its substance or character, or as its foundation; to be; -- followed by in. [1913 Webster]

If their purgation did consist in words. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. --Luke xii. 15. [1913 Webster]

4. To be consistent or harmonious; to be in accordance; -- formerly used absolutely, now followed by with. [1913 Webster]

This was a consisting story. --Bp. Burnet. [1913 Webster]

Health consists with temperance alone. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

For orders and degrees Jar not with liberty, but well consist. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

5. To insist; -- followed by on. [Obs.] --Shak.

Syn: {To Consist}, {Consist of}, {Consist in}.

Usage: The verb consist is employed chiefly for two purposes, which are marked and distinguished by the prepositions used. When we wish to indicate the parts which unite to compose a thing, we use of; as when we say, ``Macaulay's Miscellanies consist chiefly of articles which were first published in the Edinburgh Review.'' When we wish to indicate the true nature of a thing, or that on which it depends, we use in; as, ``There are some artists whose skill consists in a certain manner which they have affected.'' ``Our safety consists in a strict adherence to duty.'' [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • consist of — To be made up of • • • Main Entry: ↑consist * * * con ˈsist of [transitive] [present tense I/you/we/they consist of he/she/it consists of …   Useful english dictionary

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  • consist — 1520s, from M.Fr. consister (14c.) or directly from L. consistere to stand firm, take a standing position, stop, halt, from com together (see COM (Cf. com )) + sistere to place, causative of stare to be standing (see ASSIST (Cf. assist)). Related …   Etymology dictionary

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