per·se·vere | \ˌpər-sə-ˈvir \
persevered; persevering

Definition of persevere 

intransitive verb

: to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement

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Other Words from persevere

perseveringly \ˌpər-sə-ˈvir-iŋ-lē \ adverb

Synonyms for persevere


carry on, persist

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Did You Know?

The early settlers of the New World persevered in the face of constant hardship and danger. The Pilgrims of Plymouth Plantation lost half their number in the first winter to disease and hunger, but their perseverance paid off, and within five years their community was healthy and self-sufficient. Perhaps more remarkable are all the solitary inventors who have persevered in pursuing their visions for years, lacking any financial support and laughed at by the public.

Examples of persevere in a Sentence

She persevered in her studies and graduated near the top of her class. Even though he was tired, he persevered and finished the race.

Recent Examples on the Web

But ultimately, the EU has little choice but to persevere with the flattery, charm and intensive diplomacy—and resist the temptation to try to out-Trump Mr. Trump on Twitter. Simon Nixon, WSJ, "Lifting Trump’s Playbook Is Risky for Europe," 21 May 2018 However, after three years of low rainfall, authorities are urging the residents of Cape Town to persevere with their water-saving measures. Rachel Elbaum, NBC News, "Cape Town’s Day Zero pushed back, but water crisis takes a toll," 7 Mar. 2018 Still, Alessandro Michele of Gucci and Alexander Wang persevered with the long game: Enough stylish riffs on the fanny pack would eventually make shoppers come around, right? Ana Colon, Glamour, "Fanny Packs Were Some of the Most Sought-After Items on eBay Last Year," 12 Jan. 2018 Wochit Courage: Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty — Merriam-Webster Dictionary Sean English didn’t need a dictionary to learn the meaning of courage. Mick Mccabe, Detroit Free Press, "Sean English to receive Courage Award at Detroit Free Press Sports Awards," 18 May 2018 The framework of faith has framed the situations of my life in such a way that every triumph and tragedy taught me a life lesson of how to persevere through hard times. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Rice University honoring O.J. Brigance with Courage award," 4 May 2018 Now the better part of a decade into dealing with a toxic, parasocial relationship with his fans, Martin seems to have grown somewhat comfortable with persevering with his passion in the face of the negativity. Tyler Mccarthy, Fox News, "How George R.R. Martin went from revered 'Game of Thrones' author to the literary world's biggest villain," 5 Apr. 2018 Holland persevered in his research, even as some early clinical trials ended in death. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: How the marches for gun control are like the protests against Vietnam," 26 Mar. 2018 But the downtown location has persevered, at first selling mostly beer (more accurately, many beers, on many taps) but then adding a bar-bites menu and, recently, liquor. Robert Philpot, star-telegram, "The Brass Tap taps into the Roanoke dining scene with beer and more | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 10 May 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for persevere

Middle English, from Anglo-French parseverer, from Latin perseverare, from per- through + severus severe

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Statistics for persevere

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for persevere

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

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More Definitions for persevere



English Language Learners Definition of persevere

: to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult


per·se·vere | \ˌpər-sə-ˈvir \
persevered; persevering

Kids Definition of persevere

: to keep trying to do something in spite of difficulties She persevered in learning to speak French.

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