per·​se·​ver·​ance ˌpər-sə-ˈvir-ən(t)s How to pronounce perseverance (audio)
: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition : the action or condition or an instance of persevering : steadfastness

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web On the picket line, as in their jobs, they are accustomed to perseverance. Stephen Humphries, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 May 2023 These companies and the entrepreneurs who built them are representative of what distinguishes Boston’s tech sector — perseverance, determination, and confidence to take the long view. Scott Kirsner,, 14 May 2023 Here’s when the warm-up will begin to take hold in the Bay Area Northern California residents can expect a big temperature swing between Wednesday and Sunday but the perseverance of the marine layer means that some parts of the Bay Area will experience a delay in the warmup. Gerry Díaz, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 May 2023 By embracing flexibility, adaptability, resilience, collaboration, inclusivity, transparency, perseverance, empathy, continuous improvement and mindfulness, leaders can build a strong and cohesive team that can weather any storm. Jedidiah Alex Koh, Forbes, 4 May 2023 With hard work and perseverance, those seeing 6’s will have a rewarding pay-off in their financial and career goals. Kate Franke, Woman's Day, 1 May 2023 After building a career on flashy action, explosive set pieces and quippy bad-boy dialogue, Guy Ritchie dials things down to a pleasing degree, focusing more on human factors like honor, loyalty and dogged perseverance in the war thriller The Covenant. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Apr. 2023 From Flynn’s perspective, Faizi’s story of hard work and perseverance is classic among refugees. Sophie Carson, Journal Sentinel, 14 Apr. 2023 Thanks to patience, perseverance and an affinity for doing things his way, Lenky’s place in dancehall music history is indelible. J'na Jefferson, Billboard, 12 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'perseverance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near perseverance

Cite this Entry

“Perseverance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


per·​se·​ver·​ance ˌpər-sə-ˈvir-ən(t)s How to pronounce perseverance (audio)
: the action, state, or an instance of persevering
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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