perpetual

adjective
per·​pet·​u·​al | \ pər-ˈpe-chə-wəl , -chəl; -ˈpech-wəl\

Definition of perpetual

1a : continuing forever : everlasting perpetual motion
b(1) : valid for all time a perpetual right
(2) : holding something (such as an office) for life or for an unlimited time
2 : occurring continually : indefinitely long-continued perpetual problems
3 : blooming continuously throughout the season

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Other Words from perpetual

perpetually adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for perpetual

continual, continuous, constant, incessant, perpetual, perennial mean characterized by continued occurrence or recurrence. continual often implies a close prolonged succession or recurrence. continual showers the whole weekend continuous usually implies an uninterrupted flow or spatial extension. football's oldest continuous rivalry constant implies uniform or persistent occurrence or recurrence. lived in constant pain incessant implies ceaseless or uninterrupted activity. annoyed by the incessant quarreling perpetual suggests unfailing repetition or lasting duration. a land of perpetual snowfall perennial implies enduring existence often through constant renewal. a perennial source of controversy

Examples of perpetual in a Sentence

As always, I was struck by how the core values of the military—service and discipline, both physical and intellectual—are so different from the perpetual American Mardi Gras. — Joe Klein, Time, 29 Aug. 2005 Because Hunter had been a perpetual Peter Pan, accepting the bleak reality of his death came hard. — Douglas Brinkley, Rolling Stone, 22 Sept. 2005 He's addicted to the perpetual flux of the information networks. He craves his next data fix. He's a speed freak, an info junkie. — David Brooks, Newsweek, 30 Apr. 2001 Only after I had built to the emotional peroration culminating in the word "astonishing" was I at last sufficiently unastonished by the force of my feelings to be able to put together a couple of hours of sleep—or something resembling sleep, for, even half out of it, I was a biography in perpetual motion, memory to the marrow of my bones. — Philip Roth, American Pastoral, 1997 The region is in a state of perpetual war. He seems to have a perpetual grin on his face. the perpetual demands of parenthood
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Recent Examples on the Web

The lessee, meanwhile, has a perpetual car payment and no equity. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Car Decisions: Should You Buy or Lease ... or Subscribe?," 30 Jan. 2019 Bank of China, the country’s fourth-largest bank, late last week issued a 40 billion yuan ($6 billion) perpetual bond, the first from a Chinese bank. Andrew Peaple, WSJ, "These Chinese Bonds Won’t Hold Their Sparkle Forever," 28 Jan. 2019 Down is so revered — and why the combination of rabbits and perpetual dread is so discomfiting. Aja Romano, Vox, "Netflix’s new Watership Down proves the beloved children’s classic was a horror story all along," 30 Dec. 2018 All entrants, upon submission, will provide Niantic with a perpetual license to use their entries, both for marketing purposes and to incorporate any features or concepts, including gameplay, into its platform, technology, and future products. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Pokémon Go creators launch AR-game contest that (nearly) resembles American Idol," 21 Dec. 2018 In addition to perpetual self-improvement, much of what these gurus are selling is a nonjudgmental ear or a place to unload anxiety. Justine Harman, Glamour, "These Self-Help Gurus Might Not Have Have Formal Training—But They Promise to Change Your Life," 20 Dec. 2018 But Sunset Overdrive's sense of urgency, fueled by a need for perpetual motion, never wanes. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Sunset Overdrive review: Ride the rails to kaboom-town (finally on PCs, too)," 17 Nov. 2018 Our perpetual #1 held her first fashion week presentation for Savage x Fenty, the lingerie brand that's as diverse and inclusive as her Fenty Beauty foundation offerings. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "These Makeup Looks at Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show Were Done Entirely With Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Lipstick," 13 Sep. 2018 His redemption was from above, his peace perpetual. John Henry, star-telegram, "Casey Pachall credits Gary Patterson for changing his life | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 14 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perpetual.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of perpetual

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for perpetual

Middle English perpetuel, from Anglo-French, from Latin perpetuus uninterrupted, from per- through + petere to go to — more at feather

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Statistics for perpetual

Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for perpetual

The first known use of perpetual was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for perpetual

perpetual

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of perpetual

: continuing forever or for a very long time without stopping
: happening all the time or very often

perpetual

adjective
per·​pet·​u·​al | \ pər-ˈpe-chə-wəl \

Kids Definition of perpetual

1 : lasting forever or for a very long time a perpetual memorial
2 : occurring continually : constant perpetual arguments

Other Words from perpetual

perpetually adverb

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Comments on perpetual

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