per·se·ver·ance | \ˌpər-sə-ˈvir-ən(t)s \

Definition of perseverance 

: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition : the action or condition or an instance of persevering : steadfastness

Examples of perseverance in a Sentence

The great international collectors and curators, once celebrated for their perceptiveness and perseverance, are now regularly deplored as traffickers in, or receivers of, stolen goods. — Kwame Anthony Appiah, New York Review of Books, 9 Feb. 2006 … a cavalcade of black and brown and female faces spinning stories of hardship and triumph through perseverance. — Michelle Cottle, New Republic, 14 Aug. 2000 … he had no-nonsense coaches with hearts of gold who taught him discipline; he learned perseverance from a father who sent him back out to fight after he took a licking … — Jack McCallum, Sports Illustrated, 14 Dec. 1998 His perseverance was rewarded: after many rejections, he finally found a job. Perseverance is required to perfect just about any skill.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The Arctic tested our patience, perseverance and determination. Holly Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "When the Brooks family ventured to the Brooks Range for a summer adventure, winter reared its head," 1 July 2018 The honor is given to a sports figure who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination. Kalyn Kahler,, "Eagles Un-Invited to White House as Trump Tries to Tweak NFL Again," 5 June 2018 Interest in Lincoln grew in subsequent decades and reached its 20th-century apex during the Depression, when Americans of varying political stripes lauded him as a representative of perseverance through hard times and the dignity of common people. Kate Masur, Smithsonian, "How One Amateur Historian Brought Us the Stories of African-Americans Who Knew Abraham Lincoln," 20 Feb. 2018 Historically, the Aurora Puerto Rican Cultural Council selects an individual who has demonstrated perseverance, selfless service and leadership as a grand marshal to kick off the festivities, organizers said. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora to celebrate Puerto Rican heritage in July," 30 June 2018 Every book in one way or another is really about perseverance and resilience and moving on. Southern Living, "Mary Alice Monroe: Saving Our Wildlife…One Book at a Time," 14 June 2018 After 12 years of hard work and perseverance, Tarkington High School seniors walked across the stage to accept their diplomas and begin the next chapter of their young lives. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Tarkington High School graduates 113 seniors," 3 June 2018 Hardship, loss, and humility are extremely difficult waters to navigate, but perseverance thru them builds a strength to withstand anything life throws your way. Nick Schwartz, For The Win, "Brie Bella speaks out on John Cena-Nikki Bella breakup," 19 Apr. 2018 Tammy owns Sweet Elizabeth Jane, a wonderful Main Street shop that was destroyed in the storm of 2016 and has come back bigger and better than ever in its new location, thanks to her hard work and perseverance. Janet Kusterer, Howard County Times, "Sweet recognition for local shop owner [Mostly Main Street]," 22 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perseverance.' 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 perseverance

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for perseverance

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Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for perseverance

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

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More Definitions for perseverance



English Language Learners Definition of perseverance

: the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult


per·se·ver·ance | \ˌpər-sə-ˈvir-əns \

Kids Definition of perseverance

: the act or power of continuing to do something in spite of difficulties

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More from Merriam-Webster on perseverance

Spanish Central: Translation of perseverance

Nglish: Translation of perseverance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of perseverance for Arabic Speakers

Comments on perseverance

What made you want to look up perseverance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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