[per-sis-tuh ns, -zis-]
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  1. the act or fact of persisting.
  2. the quality of being persistent: You have persistence, I'll say that for you.
  3. continued existence or occurrence: the persistence of smallpox.
  4. the continuance of an effect after its cause is removed.
Often per·sist·en·cy.

Origin of persistence

First recorded in 1540–50; persist + -ence
Related formsnon·per·sist·ence, nounnon·per·sist·en·cy, noun

Synonyms for persistence

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1. See perseverance. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for persistency

Historical Examples of persistency

  • This persistency had struck the savant, and he asked a mutual friend to introduce him.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • And she had already begun to have some knowledge of the persistency of his character.

    Kept in the Dark

    Anthony Trollope

  • The judge and the lookers-on were puzzled by this persistency.

    Peak and Prairie

    Anna Fuller

  • This hint at MacLachlan's persistency exasperated me the more.

    John Splendid

    Neil Munro

  • Perhaps all this may account for the persistency with which I sat in my open window.

    The Bronze Hand

    Anna Katharine Green (Mrs. Charles Rohlfs)

British Dictionary definitions for persistency



  1. the quality of persisting; tenacity
  2. the act of persisting; continued effort or existence
  3. the continuance of an effect after the cause of it has stoppedpersistence of vision
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

Word Origin and History for persistency



1540s, from Middle French persistance, from persistant "lasting, enduring, permanent," from Latin persistentem (nominative persistens), present participle of persistere (see persist). Often spelled persistance 16c. Related: Persistency.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

persistency in Medicine


  1. Continuance of an effect after the cause is removed.
  2. Continuance of a part or organ, rather than having it disappear in an early stage of development.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.