per·​pet·​u·​al | \ pər-ˈpe-chə-wəl How to pronounce perpetual (audio) , -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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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 film doesn’t mention, though, that a program of perpetual museum loans also relieves a collector from many of the hefty costs for care and insurance. Los Angeles Times, "Review: How does it feel to own a Rembrandt? Or 15 of them? Inside the collectors’ quest," 6 Jan. 2021 Besides, the idea of wearing sweatpants and a nice top to those Sisyphean virtual meetings is a perpetual reminder to me that life probably won’t return to normalcy in the near future. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Why I’m Going to Start Wearing Psychedelic Pants," 5 Jan. 2021 At Navy and Maryland, the two area universities that played football this fall, players and coaches balanced the joy of competing with the perpetual uncertainty created by virus outbreaks on campus after campus. Childs Walker,, "The year in sports: From Ravens’ outbreak to empty stadiums and canceled seasons, COVID-19 changed everything," 31 Dec. 2020 With Aldridge out for the reboot, this time rehabilitating from shoulder surgery, Poeltl started eight games and impressed the Spurs with his perpetual energy. Jeff Mcdonald,, "Spurs erring on conservative side with sore LaMarcus Aldridge," 30 Dec. 2020 For the greater population, a perpetual lockdown isn’t sustainable. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Could California lockdown restrictions end in January?," 25 Dec. 2020 Processing grief means living in a perpetual state of in between. George Mccalman,, "300,000 dead from COVID. How do we mourn them?," 17 Dec. 2020 The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. Abigail Rosenthal, Chron, "A Texas rep wants us to secede. Don't get your hopes up.," 10 Dec. 2020 Luntz predicted that Trump's perpetual campaign will hurt Republicans in some areas. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "As he looks to 2024, Trump’s deep pockets mean barbs for Biden and GOP competitors," 6 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for perpetual

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for perpetual

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Perpetual.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for perpetual


How to pronounce perpetual (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of perpetual

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


per·​pet·​u·​al | \ pər-ˈpe-chə-wəl How to pronounce perpetual (audio) \

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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