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[per-sist, -zist] /pərˈsɪst, -ˈzɪst/
verb (used without object)
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.
to last or endure tenaciously:
The legend of King Arthur has persisted for nearly fifteen centuries.
to be insistent in a statement, request, question, etc.
Origin of persist
1530-40; < Latin persistere literally, to stand firm permanently, equivalent to per- per- + -sistere, akin to stāre to stand
Related forms
persister, noun
persistingly, adverb
persistive, adjective
persistively, adverb
persistiveness, noun
nonpersisting, adjective
unpersisting, adjective
1, 2. See continue. 3. insist. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for persisted
  • Worldwide, high demand for construction materials has persisted because of major.
  • The euro zone's high inflation persisted at the end of last year.
  • Throughout work on this story the problem persisted.
  • During this time, the researchers were able to recognize a hierarchical structure amongst the families that persisted.
  • But the legend of the musk strawberry persisted among a few scientists and fruit connoisseurs.
  • Stories of human flight have persisted for millennia.
  • The stock market was unable yesterday to hold its ground although strength persisted in the television issues.
  • In other words, the stories and myths persisted because they served multiple purposes for multiple audiences.
  • Doubts about the sustainability of the gains from the new economy persisted.
  • In much of the deep tropics malaria persisted stubbornly.
British Dictionary definitions for persisted


verb (intransitive)
(often foll by in) to continue steadfastly or obstinately despite opposition or difficulty
to continue to exist or occur without interruption: the rain persisted throughout the night
Derived Forms
persister, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin persistere, from per- (intensive) + sistere to stand steadfast, from stāre to stand
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for persisted



1530s, from Middle French persister (14c.), from Latin persistere "abide, continue steadfastly," from per- "thoroughly" (see per) + sistere "come to stand, cause to stand still" (see assist). Related: Persisted; persisting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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