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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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 Or maybe the tension will subside, the standoff will end and Rodgers will persevere through one more season with the Packers in 2021. Dan Wiederer,, "Column: Aaron Rodgers is as good as gone from the Green Bay Packers. Suddenly the Chicago Bears might have the best QB situation in the NFC North.," 5 May 2021 Growing up, Vélez saw how entrepreneurs persevere through adversity. Jeff Kauflin, Forbes, "The Friendly Assassin," 7 Apr. 2021 Focusing on the positive impact of your work can help give you the energy to persevere in the face of challenges. Serena Poon, Forbes, "Entrepreneurship With Purpose: Seven Tips For Leading With Intention," 16 Apr. 2021 Yet Bostic said his passion for understanding how markets and cities work helped him persevere. Matt Egan, CNN, "There are 'definitely merits' to reparations, says the first Black Fed president," 29 Mar. 2021 From women who wrought joy out of difficult circumstances, the message to persevere was clear. Keia Mastrianni, Southern Living, "Back in the Day Bakery Is Savannah's Sweetest Spot," 9 Mar. 2021 Sellers and his wife, Snejana, are no strangers to challenges — or to the deep faith that has helped them persevere in the face of soul-sapping adversity. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Faces of the arts shutdown: Richard Sellers: ‘Everything has changed’," 15 Nov. 2020 In fact, researchers say confidence is the determining factor in how long a person will persevere through a challenge. Candace Doby, NBC News, "5 everyday habits for young women to build courage," 1 Mar. 2021 The game developer has a reputation for pulling some of its most avid fans into its ranks, but whether that relationship will persevere isn't so clear. Save this story for later. Luke Winkie, Wired, "How Blizzard Transforms Its Fans Into Employees," 27 Feb. 2021

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

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Persevere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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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 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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