verb (used without object), per·sev·er·at·ed, per·sev·er·at·ing.
THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?
Origin of perseverate
OTHER WORDS FROM perseverateper·sev·er·a·tive, adjective
Words nearby perseverate
What does perseverate mean?
To perseverate is to repeat something, such as words or actions, over and over again.
Perseverate is used both in a general sense and in the more specific contexts of psychology and speech pathology. In this sense, the act of perseveration is the persistent repetition of a word, gesture, or act. This can be the result of a brain injury or a condition like schizophrenia.
Example: I’m frustrated by the degree to which I have to perseverate just to get the students to follow simple rules.
Where did perseverate come from?
Perseverate is a back formation of perseveration (which means perseveration came first and part of it was chopped off to make perseverate). Perseveration has been used in English since the 1500s, but it didn’t come to be synonymous with repetition until the 1900s. The term originally meant “resolve” or “determination” and comes from the Latin persevērātiōn-, meaning “perseverance” (which has related roots).
The psychological sense of perseveration is based on a translation of the German term perseverationstendenz. That word was used by German researchers to describe a condition in which a patient obsessively repeats words or actions, such as by zipping a zipper continuously or repeatedly asking the same question despite receiving an answer. This is often caused by a brain injury or by conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, aphasia, schizophrenia, or Parkinson’s disease.
More generally, to perseverate is to repeat something to an excessive or nearly excessive degree, like when you have to keep telling your roommates to stop putting the cereal box back empty.
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What are some other forms of perseverate?
- perseveration (noun)
- perseverative (adjective)
What are some words that share a root or word element with perseverate?
What are some words that often get used in discussing perseverate?
What are some words perseverate may be commonly confused with?
How is perseverate used in real life?
Perseverate is used by medical professionals such as speech pathologists, psychologists, and psychiatrists to describe a specific kind of repetitive behavior. More generally, it is used as a fancy way of saying that someone keeps saying the same thing over and over, but this use is fairly uncommon.
Props to the guy who has emailed me 3 times from 3 different accounts trying to sell me the same "inside info." Perseverate, my man… perseverate.
— Charles Murphy (@_CharlesMurphy) February 11, 2020
I might be said to "ruminate" or "perseverate" on this problem lol, so we should probably make a rule against me doing it unless I'm willing to e.g. write an essay
— Stephen Ira (@supermattachine) February 14, 2020
So I just got into Kanza. Which means I get to perseverate on tire choice for the next 4 months and not the fact that it takes me on average two weeks to total 200 miles in training.
— Kevin Bouchard-Hall (@TheadKbh) January 27, 2020
Try using perseverate!
Is perseverate used correctly in the following sentence?
The patient has been observed repeating certain gestures, and that tendency to perseverate is thought to be a symptom of the brain injury.
Example sentences from the Web for perseverate
Without such control, someone who perseverates finds it difficult to stop a particular action and switch to another.My Son Fell While Skiing. Then His Mind Went Blank.|Tracy Ross|April 12, 2021|Outside Online
It’s easy to rebuke yourself when you realize you’ve been perseverating on a rude encounter on the subway for hours.A Quiet Path Out of the Coronavirus Shadow - Issue 98: Mind|Clayton Dalton|March 31, 2021|Nautilus
It can involve perseverating about the past, which we call rumination, perseverating about the future, we call that worry.