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

Testard, however, believes that independent presses are better able than larger publishers to persevere with authors yet to find an audience. Chris Power, WSJ, "These Independent Publishers Are Challenging the Corporate Players," 31 Oct. 2018 This famous painter, an accomplished artist by any measure, was like me: wearing a smile as a mask and struggling to persevere. Julia Lyon, Washington Post, "People are waiting in line. Is it Hamilton? No, it’s Bob Ross on YouTube.," 13 July 2018 These performances of course were a reflection of our turbulent times, offering a means for artists and fans alike to cope, to persevere, and to unite. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Summerfest 2018 recap: The best and worst moments from the world's largest music festival," 9 July 2018 Rather, leaders are resilient problem-solvers and find ways to persevere. Sheila Vilvens,, "The 2018 YWCA Career Women of Achievement talk about perseverance, offer advice," 16 Apr. 2018 The song’s take on a new meaning in light of last month’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17, with both tunes encouraging listeners to persevere in the face of hardship. Stephanie Petit,, "Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt Collaborate on a Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen Mashup for a Cause," 19 Mar. 2018 The 21,000 workers who passed through the Dam site persevered through these terrible conditions and began pouring concrete on June 6, 1933, a year ahead of schedule. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Hoover Dam Changed America—And It Might Do It Again," 27 July 2018 Temple is a remarkable for persevering through the assumptions that the beautiful are happy and healthy. Harper's BAZAAR, "The Dangers of Parenting a Beautiful Daughter," 6 June 2017 But the precious humanity of the female characters who persevere through the most heinous circumstances holds us captive. Charles Mcnulty,, "The women of 'A Thousand Splendid Suns,' casting a spell onstage," 5 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

5 Dec 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).


living or existing for a long time

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