per·​sis·​tence | \ pər-ˈsi-stən(t)s How to pronounce persistence (audio) , -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 His persistence was noted by Trump, who began calling the young lawmaker. Alan Fram, Star Tribune, "Gaetz sex probe suddenly threatens a speedy Washington rise," 3 Apr. 2021 There’s Ellen Tebbits trying, with ungainly persistence, to pull an enormous beet out of the ground to bring to class, tearing her dress, covering herself in mud, and having to be rescued by her friend’s older brother. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "What Beverly Cleary Taught Us About Feeling Mortified," 30 Mar. 2021 Gloria Steinem has lived long enough to see many chapters of the feminist movement – its expansion of opportunities, its failures around inclusion, its persistence in fighting to dismantle a culture of pervasive violence against women. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, "Gloria Steinem reflects on her decades-long fight for equality, the violence women are facing," 25 Mar. 2021 Your persistence and refusal to quit can eventually pay off. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for March 21, 2021: Taurus, go with the flow; Sagittarius, commit to mastering new subject," 21 Mar. 2021 But with persistence on the reader’s part, and insight from a helpful critic, Ashbery’s poem opens onto a new aesthetic vista. James Campbell, WSJ, "Deconstruction, Identity and the Dying Art of Criticism," 19 Mar. 2021 But others are banking on being able to break through the logjam with persistence. Anchorage Daily News, "Tipsters, tech-savvy kids, pharmacy hopping: How Americans are landing coronavirus vaccines," 16 Jan. 2021 Some people have experienced long-haul COVID — marked by a persistence of symptoms like shortness of breath and fatigue. Sabine Poux, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska legislative aide recovering from severe case of COVID-19," 18 Mar. 2021 The news since Election Day has been dominated by the chaos of the presidential transition and the persistence of a devastating pandemic. New York Times, "Banner Headlines for Tumultuous Times," 16 Jan. 2021

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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Time Traveler for persistence

Time Traveler

The first known use of persistence was in 1546

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Statistics for persistence

Last Updated

7 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

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

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More Definitions for persistence



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 How to pronounce persistence (audio) \

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

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