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

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 Your ability to persevere through complex challenges. Dr. Ruth Gotian, Forbes, 17 May 2022 Bad news — war, political strife, disease, hunger, suffering, intolerance — may shake one’s confidence in humanity, in its tenacity to persevere, commitment to innovate and dedication to live. Palak Jayswal, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 May 2022 The team is encouraging students to also persevere and overcome challenges. Baltimore Sun, 3 May 2022 The hope was to shine a light on all the things that were working in conservation and to inspire people to persevere and find a way forward, rather than to simply give in. Ruth Anna Stolk, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Apr. 2022 Kim also shared that her family is her inspiration to persevere when going through the hardships of being a professional athlete. Shafiq Najib,, 21 Apr. 2022 The nominee told of a pivotal moment when she was told to persevere. Laura Blasey, Los Angeles Times, 25 Mar. 2022 Her own Latinx identity and upbringing have informed her work ethic, inclination to persevere, and commitment to take up space. Vivian Nunez, Forbes, 25 Mar. 2022 So Williams is among a cohort of Black women who strive to persevere. Jasmine Wright, CNN, 24 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of persevere

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for persevere

Middle English perseveren, borrowed from Anglo-French parseverer, perseverer "to last, endure, persist in spite of opposition," borrowed from Latin persevērāre "to persist in a course of action or an attitude in spite of opposition, keep on, (of a condition) continue, last," from per- per- + -sevērāre, verbal derivative of sevērus "stern, austere, severe"

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

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Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Persevere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for persevere


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on persevere

Nglish: Translation of persevere for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of persevere for Arabic Speakers


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