C16: from Latin subsistere to stand firm, from sub- up + sistere to make a stand
subsist for learners of EnglishPowered by COBUILD (səbsɪst)
Word forms: subsists, subsisting, subsisted
If people subsist, they are just able to obtain the food or money that they need in order to stayalive. [formal] [V + on] ⇒ The prisoners subsisted on one mug of the worst quality porridge three times a day. [V] ⇒ Almost every employee must moonlight in second jobs simply to subsist.