per·​se·​vere | \ ˌpər-sə-ˈvir How to pronounce persevere (audio) \
persevered; persevering

Essential Meaning of persevere

: to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult She persevered in her studies and graduated near the top of her class. Even though he was tired, he persevered and finished the race.

Full Definition of persevere

intransitive verb

: to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement

Other Words from persevere

perseveringly \ ˌpər-​sə-​ˈvir-​iŋ-​lē How to pronounce persevere (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for persevere


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The early settlers of the New World persevered in the face of constant hardship and danger. The Pilgrims of Plymouth Plantation lost half their number in the first winter to disease and hunger, but their perseverance paid off, and within five years their community was healthy and self-sufficient. Perhaps more remarkable are all the solitary inventors who have persevered in pursuing their visions for years, lacking any financial support and laughed at by the public.

Examples of persevere in a Sentence

She persevered in her studies and graduated near the top of her class. Even though he was tired, he persevered and finished the race.
Recent Examples on the Web Allen is prepared to persevere with the auto companies, he is used to overcoming obstacles. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, 20 Oct. 2021 Asked for their view of what defines Trey Mancini, others largely centered on his status as an athlete and a cancer survivor, describing his defining traits as his abilities to overcome, to compete, to persevere. Nathan Ruiz,, 3 Oct. 2021 For a business that was in real danger of collapse two years ago, that's a powerful endorsement of how startups can find a way to persevere. Neal Taparia, Forbes, 24 Sep. 2021 In 1942, Chakrabarti’s author’s note tells us, this play was mounted in a Warsaw Ghetto orphanage where a Polish-Jewish educator and doctor known as Pan Doktor hoped to give his charges a way to persevere through dark times. Washington Post, 14 Sep. 2021 Madison continued to persevere and reinvigorated her music career after signing with Epic Records in 2019. Jasmine Washington, Seventeen, 17 Sep. 2021 During the General Assembly last year, the group issued a video message to youth encouraging them to persevere and dream big despite the pandemic. Washington Post, 14 Sep. 2021 While there isn’t an easy answer, HR and other leaders who care about people and doing the right thing need to persevere. Mark Murphy, Forbes, 28 Feb. 2021 Based on harrowing true stories, this is a novel about the power of female friendships and the incredible strength of the human spirit to persevere in the darkest of times. Ew Staff,, 12 Aug. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for persevere

Middle English perseveren, borrowed from Anglo-French parseverer, perseverer "to last, endure, persist in spite of opposition," borrowed from Latin persevērāre "to persist in a course of action or an attitude in spite of opposition, keep on, (of a condition) continue, last," from per- per- + -sevērāre, verbal derivative of sevērus "stern, austere, severe"

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The first known use of persevere was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

24 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Persevere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for persevere


per·​se·​vere | \ ˌpər-sə-ˈvir How to pronounce persevere (audio) \
persevered; persevering

Kids Definition of persevere

: to keep trying to do something in spite of difficulties She persevered in learning to speak French.

More from Merriam-Webster on persevere

Nglish: Translation of persevere for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of persevere for Arabic Speakers


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