[ per-sist, -zist ]
See synonyms for: persistpersistedpersistingpersists on

verb (used without object)
  1. to continue steadfastly or firmly in some state, purpose, course of action, or the like, especially in spite of opposition, remonstrance, etc.: to persist in working for world peace;to persist in unpopular political activities.

  2. to last or endure tenaciously: The legend of King Arthur has persisted for nearly fifteen centuries.

  1. to be insistent in a statement, request, question, etc.

verb (used with object)
  1. Computers. to cause (a record, configuration, value, etc.) to be written to permanent storage by the scripted process that created it, so that it continues to exist in the same state after the script has finished running.

Origin of persist

First recorded in 1530–40; from Latin persistere, literally, “to stand firm permanently,” equivalent to per- per- + sistere “to (cause to) stand,” akin to stāre “to stand

synonym study For persist

1, 2. See continue.

Other words for persist

Other words from persist

  • per·sist·er, noun
  • per·sist·ing·ly, adverb
  • per·sis·tive, adjective
  • per·sis·tive·ly, adverb
  • per·sis·tive·ness, noun
  • non·per·sist·ing, adjective
  • un·per·sist·ing, adjective

Words Nearby persist Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use persist in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for persist


/ (pəˈsɪst) /

  1. (often foll by in) to continue steadfastly or obstinately despite opposition or difficulty

  2. to continue to exist or occur without interruption: the rain persisted throughout the night

Origin of persist

C16: from Latin persistere, from per- (intensive) + sistere to stand steadfast, from stāre to stand

Derived forms of persist

  • persister, noun

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