Simple Definition of persist
: to continue to do something or to try to do something even though it is difficult or other people want you to stop
: to continue to occur or exist beyond the usual, expected, or normal time
Full Definition of persist
1 : to go on resolutely or stubbornly in spite of opposition, importunity, or warning
2 obsolete : to remain unchanged or fixed in a specified character, condition, or position
3 : to be insistent in the repetition or pressing of an utterance (as a question or an opinion)
4 : to continue to exist especially past a usual, expected, or normal time
Examples of persist in a sentence
She had turned him down for a date before, but he persisted and asked her again.
The reporter persisted with his questioning.
If you persist with this behavior, you will be punished.
Must you persist in making that noise?
If the pain persists, see a doctor.
Doubts about the defendant's story have persisted for some time now.
Rumors persist that they are dating.
Origin and Etymology of persist
Middle French persister, from Latin persistere, from per- + sistere to take a stand, stand firm; akin to Latin stare to stand — more at stand
First Known Use: 1538
Synonym Discussion of persist
Rhymes with persist
PERSIST Defined for Kids
Definition of persist for Students
1 : to keep on doing or saying something : continue stubbornly <The reporter persisted with questions.>
2 : to last on and on : continue to exist or occur <Rain persisted for days.>
Word Root of persist
The Latin word sistere, meaning “to stand,” “to appear,” “to stop,” or “to put,” gives us the root sist. Words from the Latin sistere have something to do with standing, appearing, stopping, or putting. To assist, or help, is to stand by someone in order to give aid. To consist is to be made up of a number of thing put together. To exist, or have actual being, is to appear real. To persist is to refuse to stop doing or saying something.
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