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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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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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