persist

verb
per·​sist | \ pər-ˈsist How to pronounce persist (audio) , -ˈzist How to pronounce persist (audio) \
persisted; persisting; persists

Essential Meaning of persist

1 : to continue to do something or to try to do something even though it is difficult or other people want you to stop She had turned him down for a date before, but he persisted and asked her again. The reporter persisted with his questioning. See More ExamplesIf you persist with this behavior, you will be punished. Must you persist in making that noise?Hide
2 : to continue to occur or exist beyond the usual, expected, or normal time If the pain persists, see a doctor. Doubts about the defendant's story have persisted for some time now. Rumors persist that they are dating.

Full Definition of persist

intransitive verb

1 : to go on resolutely or stubbornly in spite of opposition, importunity, or warning
2 obsolete : to remain unchanged or fixed in a specified character, condition, or position
3 : to be insistent in the repetition or pressing of an utterance (such as a question or an opinion)
4 : to continue to exist especially past a usual, expected, or normal time

Other Words from persist

persister noun

Synonyms for persist

Synonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for persist

continue, last, endure, abide, persist mean to exist over a period of time or indefinitely. continue applies to a process going on without ending. the search for peace will continue last, especially when unqualified, may stress existing beyond what is normal or expected. buy shoes that will last endure adds an implication of resisting destructive forces or agencies. in spite of everything, her faith endured abide implies stable and constant existing especially as opposed to mutability. a love that abides through 40 years of marriage persist suggests outlasting the normal or appointed time and often connotes obstinacy or doggedness. the sense of guilt persisted

Examples of persist in a Sentence

She had turned him down for a date before, but he persisted and asked her again. The reporter persisted with his questioning. If you persist with this behavior, you will be punished. Must you persist in making that noise? If the pain persists, see a doctor. Doubts about the defendant's story have persisted for some time now. Rumors persist that they are dating.
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Recent Examples on the Web Long Covid collectively means symptoms that persist after Covid-19 infections have cleared, spanning both mental and physical health, the neurologic and psychiatric, cardiovascular and pulmonary, gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal. Elizabeth Cooney, STAT, 25 Nov. 2021 How long these conditions persist could spell the difference between minimal lasting economic pain and something much grimmer, Young said. NBC News, 19 Nov. 2021 The wealth and home ownership gaps between white and Black Bostonians persist, after decades of racist housing and lending policies. Miles Howard, The New Republic, 3 Nov. 2021 As work from home trends persist, so too will increased demand in gaming. David Trainer, Forbes, 6 Oct. 2021 Even so, the transformations in American culture wrought by the terrorist attacks persist. BostonGlobe.com, 11 Sep. 2021 As increases in Covid-19 cases persist, medical attention for other health needs is getting curtailed. Aya Elamroussi, CNN, 28 Aug. 2021 The claim: Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 only benefits the vaccinated person As Americans continue in their fight against COVID-19, controversy and misinformation about vaccines persist. Devon Link, USA TODAY, 16 Aug. 2021 Times data show that 51.8% of all Californians are fully vaccinated to date, though wide regional gaps persist. Luke Money, Los Angeles Times, 16 July 2021

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

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for persist

Middle French persister, from Latin persistere, from per- + sistere to take a stand, stand firm; akin to Latin stare to stand — more at stand

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Time Traveler for persist

Time Traveler

The first known use of persist was in 1531

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Dictionary Entries Near persist

Persis

persist

persistence

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Statistics for persist

Last Updated

2 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Persist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/persist. Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for persist

persist

verb
per·​sist | \ pər-ˈsist How to pronounce persist (audio) \
persisted; persisting

Kids Definition of persist

1 : to keep on doing or saying something : continue stubbornly The reporter persisted with questions.
2 : to last on and on : continue to exist or occur Rain persisted for days.

More from Merriam-Webster on persist

Nglish: Translation of persist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of persist for Arabic Speakers

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