1 a : adhering resolutely to an opinion, purpose, or design
b : perversely persistent
2 : stubbornly tenacious
Did You Know?
Remove the first syllable of pertinacious and say what remains out loud: you'll hear something that sounds a lot like the word tenacious, meaning "tending to adhere or cling." The similarity between pertinacious and tenacious isn't mere coincidence; both words derive from tenax, the Latin word for "tenacious," and ultimately from the verb tenēre, meaning "to hold." Another descendant of tenēre is tenure, a word that is typically used of the right to hold a job (especially a teaching position) for as long as desired.
"In fact, the exorcism was quite ineffectual upon the pertinacious demon, or whatever the apparition might be." — Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Faun, 1859
"Meldrum gave a convincing portrayal of the protagonist's downfall, from a pertinacious convict with goals and aspirations, to an increasingly fame-obsessed and ultimately unhappy free woman." — Jagnoor Saran, The Ottawa Citizen, 14 Dec. 2018
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
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