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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The Senator’s dogged persistence across decades and especially the last four years is part of the explanation. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Agony of the Democrats," 14 Feb. 2020 The song is an example of the persistence and creativity of the leaderless Hong Kong protest movement, which has nimbly outmaneuvered Beijing and Hong Kong authorities. Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times, "‘Glory to Hong Kong': A new protest anthem moves singers to tears," 13 Sep. 2019 Conservatism triumphed over them through patient persistence and careful institution-building. Jack Butler, National Review, "CPAC and the Swamp," 28 Feb. 2020 All of the women had enormous persistence and a core belief in their own abilities. Gareth Cook, Scientific American, "The Underappreciated Geniuses among Us," 18 Feb. 2020 Negotiating away junk fees takes patience, persistence and politeness. Christopher Elliott, USA TODAY, "Travel fees are out of control. Here's what to do about them," 28 Dec. 2019 With persistence and a great deal of time, Roche uncovered sections of metal, seatbelts, throttles from the cockpit, a flare pistol and a camera whose film, once developed, showed a murky mountaineer. The Economist, "Death in the Alps," 20 Dec. 2019 That work, IU’s recruiting persistence and Philyor’s own development are all paying off. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Film Room: The evolution of Whop Philyor, IU's emerging explosive threat," 14 Oct. 2019 This cake is the result of that (probably annoying) persistence. Sarah Jampel, Bon Appétit, "This Mochi Cake Is the Only Thing I’d Like to “Ring in the New Year” With," 26 Dec. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of persistence

1546, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about persistence

Time Traveler for persistence

Time Traveler

The first known use of persistence was in 1546

See more words from the same year

Statistics for persistence

Last Updated

31 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Persistence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Apr. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for persistence


How to pronounce persistence (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!