persistent

adjective
per·​sis·​tent | \ pər-ˈsi-stənt How to pronounce persistent (audio) , -ˈzi- \

Definition of persistent

1 : existing for a long or longer than usual time or continuously: such as
a : retained beyond the usual period a persistent leaf
b : continuing without change in function or structure persistent gills
c : effective in the open for an appreciable time usually through slow volatilizing mustard gas is persistent
d : degraded only slowly by the environment persistent pesticides
e : remaining infectious for a relatively long time in a vector after an initial period of incubation persistent viruses
2a : continuing or inclined to persist in a course
b : continuing to exist despite interference or treatment a persistent cough has been in a persistent vegetative state for two years

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Other Words from persistent

persistently adverb

Examples of persistent in a Sentence

Contrary to persistent myth, Hoover was an activist. — Steve Forbes, Forbes, 30 June 2008 The high-water mark of such truckling might be the publication of the Cato Institute report "America's Record Trade Deficit: A Symbol of Strength." Freedom had become slavery; persistent deficits had become economic power. — Eric Janszen, Harper's, February 2008 The silence started from your end just about the time you said good-bye to dear St. Elizabeth and it has been constant and persistent ever since. — Archibald Macleish, letter, 11 July 1959 We were nagged by a persistent salesman. He is one of the government's most persistent critics. She has been persistent in pursuing the job. He has been fighting a persistent cold. Flooding has been a persistent problem in the area this year. Persistent rumors that the business is for sale have alarmed the staff.
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Recent Examples on the Web Her brain fog, persistent headaches and frequent fainting spells have led her to be referred to a neurologist. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "COVID-19 'long-haulers' turn to online groups for support during unpredictable battle," 31 July 2020 In June, a persistent high-pressure system—a kind of swirling atmospheric current often associated with clear, sunny skies—set up camp over the Siberian Arctic. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "With Fires, Heat and a Cyclone, Arctic Breaks Melting Record," 31 July 2020 Reich, who hosted a difficult conversation on the issue with county leaders last year in his home, gave high marks to their rapid creation of a plan for how to address the persistent flooding. Patricia Sullivan, Washington Post, "Flooded neighborhoods in Arlington urge storm water main spending," 11 July 2020 The persistent racial discrimination and bias Black job seekers face in the labor market limits their opportunities to gain better paying jobs and benefits compared to their White counterparts. Jazmin Goodwin, CNN, "The recession will scar Gen Z. And it could be even worse for Black youth," 7 July 2020 Since December, temperatures across Siberia have been way above normal due to a persistent ridge of high pressure air parked over the area that has produced warm, sunny weather, melting the snowpack early. Madeleine Stone, National Geographic, "A heat wave thawed Siberia's tundra. Now, it's on fire.," 6 July 2020 By contrast, efforts by public health advocates, nutrition experts, pediatricians and others to strengthen dietary standards or create more incentives for healthful eating have run into persistent barriers, stymieing such initiatives for decades. Los Angeles Times, "It’s not just coronavirus: America repeatedly fails at public health," 2 July 2020 July starts off on a cool and cloudy note as persistent onshore flow continues to bring patchy drizzle into the Portland area and chances for afternoon showers Wednesday. oregonlive, "Portland Wednesday weather: First day of July feels more like May, drizzly, cool temps," 1 July 2020 The coronavirus isn’t taking a summer break judging from its persistent spread in the U.S. Sun Belt, according to the nation’s top infectious-disease doctor. John Lauerman, Bloomberg.com, "Anthony Fauci Doesn’t See Covid Summer Lull as Sun Belt Cases Swell," 26 June 2020

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

1826, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for persistent

Latin persistent-, persistens, present participle of persistere — see persist

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Time Traveler for persistent

Time Traveler

The first known use of persistent was in 1826

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Statistics for persistent

Last Updated

6 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Persistent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/persistent. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for persistent

persistent

adjective
How to pronounce persistent (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of persistent

: continuing to do something or to try to do something even though it is difficult or other people want you to stop
: continuing beyond the usual, expected, or normal time : not stopping or going away

persistent

adjective
per·​sist·​ent | \ pər-ˈsi-stənt How to pronounce persistent (audio) \

Kids Definition of persistent

: continuing to act or exist longer than usual a persistent cold

Other Words from persistent

persistently adverb

persistent

adjective
per·​sis·​tent | \ -tənt How to pronounce persistent (audio) \

Medical Definition of persistent

1 : existing or continuing for a long time: as
a : effective in the open for an appreciable time usually through slow volatilizing mustard gas is persistent
b : degraded only slowly by the environment persistent pesticides
c : remaining infectious for a relatively long time in a vector after an initial period of incubation persistent viruses
2 : continuing to exist despite interference or treatment a persistent cough has been in a persistent vegetative state for two years

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Comments on persistent

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