per·​sis·​tence | \pər-ˈsi-stən(t)s, -ˈzi-\

Definition of persistence 

1 : the action or fact of persisting

2 : the quality or state of being persistent especially : perseverance

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Examples of persistence in a Sentence

He admired her dogged persistence in pursuing the job. His persistence in asking for a raise was finally rewarded. She has shown a lot of persistence.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Her courage and persistence is a reminder that freedom often comes at tremendous sacrifice. Glamour, "Glamour Woman of the Year Manal al-Sharif: 'Democracy Is Not a Privilege'," 12 Nov. 2018 Of course, the persistence of abusive policing is the very source of the protests by NFL players, so maintaining police abuse, and stoking more protest and therefore white resentment, serves Trump’s interests. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Most Unpatriotic President Ever Says Kneeling NFL Players ‘Shouldn’t Be in the Country’," 24 May 2018 With formidable persistence, the foundation transformed the latter into an exhibition space worthy of a cultural capital. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "This French Island Is the Nantucket of the Mediterranean," 16 Aug. 2018 Supporters call them constitutional activists who electronically record police and government activities by video, frequently with such persistence that their presence provokes an agitated police response. Bruce Selcraig, San Antonio Express-News, "Leon Valley hit with lawsuit over ‘auditor’ arrests," 5 July 2018 His amiable act doesn’t question religious dogma with any persistence or engage with doubters. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "What’s So Funny About Orthodox Judaism? This Comic Has One Answer," 13 June 2018 Xia’s persistence and ultimate success has given ammunition to opponents of a blanket ban on disabled climbers. Time, "The Ethics of Climbing Everest: Double Amputee Xia Boyu’s Feat Fuels Debates About Who Belongs on the Roof of the World," 3 Apr. 2018 By the same token mutual funds become hot because of their past performance, but there is very little evidence of persistence in returns. The Economist, "Technology can tackle investors’ flaws," 26 Apr. 2018 There’s a dignity to be found in that kind of persistence, almost a kind of everyday heroism. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Charlie Plummer plays an everyday hero in unsparing 'Lean on Pete'," 12 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'persistence.' 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 persistence

1546, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for persistence

The first known use of persistence was in 1546

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English Language Learners Definition of persistence

: the quality that allows someone to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult or opposed by other people

: the state of occurring or existing beyond the usual, expected, or normal time


per·​sist·​ence | \pər-ˈsi-stəns \

Kids Definition of persistence

1 : the act or fact of stubbornly continuing to do something

2 : the act or fact of continuing to exist longer than usual

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Comments on persistence

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


to enclose within walls

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