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 persevere (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 In fact, researchers say confidence is the determining factor in how long a person will persevere through a challenge. Candace Doby, NBC News, "5 everyday habits for young women to build courage," 1 Mar. 2021 The game developer has a reputation for pulling some of its most avid fans into its ranks, but whether that relationship will persevere isn't so clear. Save this story for later. Luke Winkie, Wired, "How Blizzard Transforms Its Fans Into Employees," 27 Feb. 2021 Wanting to prove people wrong, Anthony used her inner drive and confidence to persevere. Cheryl Robinson, Forbes, "La La Anthony Shares 3 Tips To Successfully Build A Postive Brand Imgage," 1 Mar. 2021 But being truly committed provides the motivation to persevere, another word that is important in seeing projects and dreams through to the finish. Harvey Mackay, Star Tribune, "The power of commitment," 14 Mar. 2021 The happy side of that face is that self-driving cars will persevere and there will ultimately be a massive boon, in both self-driving cars and the shortages of computer chips for them. Lance Eliot, Forbes, "Massive Boon In Computer Chip Shortages Will Slam Future Self-Driving Car Rollouts," 2 Mar. 2021 Those are the quarterbacks that persevere in the NFL. Brad Biggs,, "Chicago Bears Q&A: How likely is a tag-and-trade for Allen Robinson? Could Ryan Pace sign or draft a replacement for his best wide receiver? Is Mitch Trubisky still an option at QB?," 24 Feb. 2021 Perseverance will persevere through the frozen conditions of Mars, which can reach temperatures as low as minus 130 F, and power through generating electricity by the natural decay of a radioactive plutonium isotope. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "NASA’s rover Perseverance touched down on Mars. What’s next?," 20 Feb. 2021 In a come-from-behind win over Auburn and a last-second victory against Florida, A&M showed its ability to persevere and overcome adversity, something Fisher had been on a mission to instill in his team since his arrival in College Station. Hannah Underwood, Dallas News, "3 reasons why Texas A&M could be worse in 2021, including the likely departure of a loaded senior class," 21 Dec. 2020

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

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Persevere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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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 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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