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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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for perseverance
  • This is a triumphant, true story of sacrifice and perseverance.
  • But the hours-long setup process requires an early adopter's perseverance.
  • However, he stayed on and his perseverance paid off.
  • Victory is merely the culmination of planning, perception and perseverance.
  • Altruism and perseverance are ingredients of her career tale.
  • Through sheer perseverance, it is being rebuilt.
  • So if you don't believe perseverance will pay back, then it won't.
  • Rees has written an unforgettable memoir of courage, empathy and perseverance.
  • Patience and perseverance will overcome mountains.
  • Yet she contrived to read and write with unwavering perseverance.
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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