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

But what really frustrates me isn’t the persistence of special pleading across shifts in partisan control — which is, as Burke pointed out, a predictable manifestation of unalterable human nature. John Hood, National Review, "New Nationalists Make Three Big Bets," 28 Aug. 2019 Be persistent The final and maybe the most important trick to negotiating a successful refund is persistence. Christopher Elliott, USA TODAY, "Yes, it's possible to get a refund on a nonrefundable airline ticket; here's how," 18 July 2019 Little did Taylor know it, but her persistence and abilities in the ring were changing people's ideas about women's boxing in Ireland. Ben Morse And Becky Anderson, CNN, "From fighting 'as a boy' to undisputed champion. How Katie Taylor boxed clever," 7 Aug. 2019 When the women are shown running, strong and swift and determined, the viewer is meant to recognize their persistence as a testament to their spirit and stubbornness and commitment to moving forward, no matter the cost. Kate Mooney, Vox, "What it means when the women of Big Little Lies go running," 26 July 2019 The secret to their success lies both with the unwavering support of their parents and their persistence, Shane said. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, "These rising entrepreneurs run a Houston-area bakery. They're 12 and 13," 21 July 2019 The minimum wage is partly to blame for the persistence of financial instability. Bryce Covert, The New Republic, "We’re Having the Wrong Debate About a $15 Minimum Wage," 18 July 2019 This persistence is particularly dangerous if a peat fire runs into an unhealthy forest. Matt Simon, WIRED, "The Bizarre, Peaty Science of Arctic Wildfires," 29 July 2019 This is a great example of persistence, having the patience to go through the regulatory process. Judith Kohler, The Denver Post, "Colorado aerospace veterans’ small company opening new frontiers in international trade, open-source systems," 19 July 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.

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First Known Use of persistence

1546, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for persistence

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for persistence

The first known use of persistence was in 1546

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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

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


to spread over or through

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