per·​se·​vere | \ ˌpər-sə-ˈvir How to pronounce persevere (audio) \
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 How to pronounce persevere (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for persevere


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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 The Virus’s Next Move Even as vaccinations wax and the virus wanes, SARS-CoV-2 will persevere. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "Pandemic Year Two," 29 Dec. 2020 The boycotters would persevere for 13 months until a coinciding lawsuit overturned the local and state laws that segregated the buses. Mike Cason |, al, "Alabama businessman recalls church meeting that launched Montgomery bus boycott 65 years ago," 5 Dec. 2020 The kind of heart and mind that allowed players to persevere through the longest national team break in more than three decades. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, "U.S. women’s national team defeats Netherlands in first match since March," 27 Nov. 2020 Most importantly, though, it’s that Bryant knew Perkins would persevere. J.d. Crowe |, al, "‘He’s one of us’: Bear Bryant’s tribute to Ray Perkins," 11 Dec. 2020 Nash will likely find himself at times wondering what to do, but will always be able to rely upon his work ethic, adaptability and discipline to persevere. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, "Brooklyn's finest: Steve Nash, Kevin Durant having championship aspirations amid unknowns," 3 Dec. 2020 Yet, in the hours and days after J.F.K.’s assassination, Johnson came to embody the resolve of the nation to persevere despite an incalculable loss. The New Yorker, "Sunday Reading: Transformational Presidents," 15 Nov. 2020 Thankful for my family, friends, my true love, all my teachers, colleagues, activists, coaches, visual and performing arts directors, students, wrestlers, both formal and informal, who taught me to persevere and never give up and follow my dream. William A. Virchis, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Commentary: I am thankful for friends, family and strangers," 24 Nov. 2020 First, Alaska and our country must persevere through the COVID-19 pandemic. Anchorage Daily News, "Congressional candidate Q&As: Name two problems facing Alaska and what you’ll do about them," 10 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for persevere

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for persevere

Last Updated

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Persevere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for persevere


How to pronounce persevere (audio)

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 How to pronounce persevere (audio) \
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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Comments on persevere

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