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 perseveringly (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 duo founded a nonprofit company, Fossil Excavators, to discover, persevere and educate others about fossils. Amanda Jackson, CNN, "College student unearths 65 million-year-old Triceratops skull," 24 July 2019 Power is having the strength to persevere against the tide. Emily Lipson, Allure, "On the Power of Being Fully, Truly Yourself," 18 June 2019 Clearly, Britishness is far more than the ability to persevere individual liberty, common law, localism, and freedom of speech. Sahil Handa, National Review, "Reclaiming Britishness from the Brexit Debacle," 10 June 2019 Pompeo has persevered, however, as Trump considers him more of a loyalist, willing to carry out his decisions without protest. Washington Post, "The DIY foreign policy president: Bolton ouster confirms it," 12 Sep. 2019 He's persevered through it all, serving on the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners since 2000. Sharon Coolidge,, "'My cancer has spread.' Todd Portune announces retirement after quarter-century in local politics," 12 Sep. 2019 After suffering through a series of hip injuries beginning as a sophomore, Barrington senior Quinn Ketel has persevered. Mark Perlman,, "Quinn Ketel shows ‘heart’ as key member of Barrington’s backfield," 31 Aug. 2019 If Broom’s arc in this memoir is that of coming of age and consciousness, Ivory Mae’s is of doggedly persevering as her circumstances shift. New York Times, "After Hurricane Katrina, How Do You Return Home When Home No Longer Exists?," 10 Aug. 2019 But the group persevered on their weeklong expedition on the roughly 170-acre Boston Harbor island. Alison Kuznitz,, "Expanding horizons: Boston students learn, play on Thompson Island," 20 July 2019

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

24 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for persevere

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

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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

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


something of little or no value

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