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[pur-suh-veer-uh ns] /ˌpɜr səˈvɪər əns/
steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
Theology. continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.
Origin of perseverance
1300-50; Middle English perseveraunce < Middle French perseverance < Latin persevērantia. See persevere, -ance
Related forms
perseverant, adjective
nonperseverance, noun
nonperseverant, adjective
1. doggedness, steadfastness. Perseverance, persistence, tenacity, pertinacity imply resolute and unyielding holding on in following a course of action. Perseverance commonly suggests activity maintained in spite of difficulties or steadfast and long-continued application: Endurance and perseverance combined to win in the end. It is regularly used in a favorable sense. Persistence, which may be used in either a favorable or an unfavorable sense, implies unremitting (and sometimes annoying) perseverance: persistence in a belief; persistence in talking when others wish to study. Tenacity, with the original meaning of adhesiveness, as of glue, is a dogged and determined holding on. Whether used literally or figuratively it has favorable implications: a bulldog quality of tenacity; the tenacity of one's memory. Pertinacity, unlike its related word, is used chiefly in an unfavorable sense, that of overinsistent tenacity: the pertinacity of the social climber. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for perseverance
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I have often heard Pericles speak of his childish obstinacy and perseverance.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • I sincerely wish you, sir, the success your perseverance so well deserves.

  • But in his heart, I am sure, he was relieved by my perseverance in the project.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • As to that wretch's perseverance, those only, who know not the man, will wonder at it.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • The bears are put off the scent; they have no perseverance, and have grown tired waiting for us.

    The Field of Ice Jules Verne
British Dictionary definitions for perseverance


continued steady belief or efforts, withstanding discouragement or difficulty; persistence
(Christianity) persistence in remaining in a state of grace until death
Derived Forms
perseverant, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for perseverance

mid-14c., from Old French perseverance "persistence, endurance" (12c., Modern French persévérance) and directly from Latin perseverantia "steadfastness, constancy," from perseverantem (nominative perseverans), from perseverare (see persevere).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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