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 But their grace and decency are part of what makes them, and their story, so touching; these are kind people, whose adaptability, patience and resourcefulness help them persevere through profoundly unkind circumstances. Jon Frosch, The Hollywood Reporter, "'I Carry You With Me': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 26 Jan. 2020 Somehow, even without oxygen, and regardless of temperature, saltiness or pH, these organisms could still persevere. Tony Briscoe,, "Minuscule microbes wield enormous power over the Great Lakes. But many species remain a mystery.," 5 July 2019 For those who persevere, the sense of accomplishment is unrivalled. Simon Parkin, The New Yorker, "The Best Video Games of 2019," 17 Dec. 2019 Neither did the Owls, who persevered long enough to get back into the game and overtake a familiar playoff foe. Pat Stoetzer,, "Field Hockey: Westminster outlasts Urbana in overtime to win Class 3A state championship," 9 Nov. 2019 At 64 years old, Markle is persevering in a passion that pushes her to the limit. Kimberly Piña, Houston Chronicle, "San Leon grandma, 64, breaking records in grueling ultramarathons," 28 Oct. 2019 However, Emery now looks set to persevere with a back four, and has opted for Sokratis Papastathopoulos and new signing David Luiz as his centre back pairing for the last three Premier League games., "Per Mertesacker Backs Rob Holding to Make a Major Impact on his Return From Injury," 13 Sep. 2019 On one side: a plucky, small-market team running a low payroll, rolling out a roster of no-names, playing in a crappy stadium and stuck in a division with an insanely talented juggernaut that nonetheless perseveres to 96 wins and a playoff spot. Jon Tayler,, "Rays Out-Moneyball Billy Beane and the Athletics in the AL Wild-Card Game," 3 Oct. 2019 Despite the odds and the oppression, blacks believed and persevered. Lonnie G. Bunch Iii, Smithsonian, "How Lonnie Bunch Built a Museum Dream Team," 19 Sep. 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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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

28 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Persevere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2020.

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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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