per·​se·​ver·​ance | \ ˌpər-sə-ˈvir-ən(t)s How to pronounce perseverance (audio) \

Essential Meaning of perseverance

: the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult His perseverance was rewarded: after many rejections, he finally found a job. Perseverance is required to perfect just about any skill.

Full 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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The lockdowns forced City Kids to cancel their programs, including their annual trip to Wyoming, which aims to teach kids about perseverance and resilience. CBS News, 14 Dec. 2021 Hillary Clinton is sharing her personal insights and strategies about perseverance and resilience in an all-new internet course. Todd Spangler, Variety, 9 Dec. 2021 For Powell High School defensive tackle Walter Nolen III, the prime takeaway from the game is perseverance. Douglas Clark, USA TODAY, 5 Nov. 2021 But two common prerequisites are perseverance and serendipity. Los Angeles Times, 16 Sep. 2021 Even for a historically dominant U.S. team, that sense of serendipity has added a source of strength and perseverance. Noah Robertson, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 July 2021 Another Italian trait is perseverance—above all in the face of adversity. Tiziana Cardini, Vogue, 3 Mar. 2021 Cambridge Dictionary tackled the pandemic from a different angle, choosing perseverance. Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 Jan. 2022 If the Spurs had been able to hold onto the game from there, the 3-ball would have been spotlighted as testament to Johnson’s perseverance. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 1 Jan. 2022

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.

See More

First Known Use of perseverance

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for perseverance

Middle English perseveraunce, borrowed from Anglo-French parseverance, parsevrance, borrowed from Latin persevērantia, noun derivative of persevērant-, persevērans "persisting in a course of action, steadfast," from present participle of persevērāre "to persist in a course of action or an attitude in spite of opposition, keep on" — more at persevere

Learn More About perseverance

Time Traveler for perseverance

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near perseverance




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for perseverance

Last Updated

19 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Perseverance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for perseverance


per·​se·​ver·​ance | \ ˌpər-sə-ˈvir-əns How to pronounce perseverance (audio) \

Kids Definition of perseverance

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!