perpetual

adjective
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

This is the idea that the world would divide into three totalitarian super-states that were rigidly hierarchical, in complete control of information and expression, and engaged in perpetual and unwinnable wars for world domination. Louis Menand, The New Yorker, "“1984” at Seventy: Why We Still Read Orwell’s Book of Prophecy," 8 June 2019 That peace treaty turned out to be not so perpetual after all. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "How Margaret Tudor Became One of the Most Influential Queens in British History," 20 May 2019 CoCos are, after all, perpetual, and forever is a long time for a bet on management incentives. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "When Investing Is About the CEO’s Goodwill," 17 Feb. 2019 In the home, a chalk wall can serve as anything from a grocery or to-do list to a child's perpetual blank canvas. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need to Know About Chalkboard Paint," 29 Apr. 2019 Without the goodwill of the bank, the CoCo is a zero-coupon perpetual, with all the value of wallpaper. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "When Investing Is About the CEO’s Goodwill," 17 Feb. 2019 The Bachelorette is admittedly not a great measure of adulthood given that the show openly encourages suitors to remain locked in a perpetual, drama-prone adolescence. Roxane Gay, Marie Claire, "Of All Things, It's 'The Bachelorette' That's Fighting Toxic Masculinity in 2017," 7 June 2017 Chelsea seems locked in a perpetual cycle of one season good, one season bad, the endless churn of managers undermining campaign after campaign. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "Systemic or Specific? Reasons for Premier League Clubs' Champions League Fortunes," 15 Mar. 2018 Trump is the racetrack rabbit that keeps Democrats running in a perpetual cycle of outrage. Rich Lowry, National Review, "Have Democrats Overplayed Their Trump Hand?," 16 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

17 Jun 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 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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