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 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 Playing under-manned — without Nick Castellanos or Victor Martinez in the starting lineup — the Tigers persevered well, but lost on a walk-off home run by Nomar Mazara. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers lose on walk-off home run at Texas Rangers, 5-4 (10 inn.)," 9 May 2018 Morton, meanwhile, persevered through 10 DL stints in his career before finding stardom with the Astros. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Astros may have the 'nastiest' rotation ever - and thanks to Trevor Bauer, they're mad, too," 7 May 2018 Delirious and depleted, Gary Thornton persevered to win the world marathon challenge. Ken Goe,, "Could Hayward Field go dark through the 2021 college season? Oregon track & field rundown," 14 Feb. 2018 What unfolds is partly a send-up of the art preparatory-patronage system in America and partly her own mock-heroic struggle to not just persevere but (spoiler alert) to triumph. Kathleen Hirsch,, "A portrait of the artist as an older woman," 29 June 2018 Our Hoop Shoot basketball program trains kids to be resilient and persevere. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "12,000 Elks in S.A., not one fez. We find out why," 28 June 2018 There’s an African-American church in Indiana that persevered despite being torched again. Randy Dotinga, The Christian Science Monitor, "'The Bone and Sinew of the Land' restores a lost chapter of US history," 25 June 2018 Despite the constant hazards that have devastated coral reefs around the world, some coral communities have still managed to recover and persevere. National Geographic, "These 38 Coral Reefs Are Thriving, Despite Threats," 18 June 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

12 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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Comments on persevere

What made you want to look up persevere? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a magnificent or impressive array

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