verb (used without object), persevered, persevering.
to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly.
to persist in speech, interrogation, argument, etc.; insist.
verb (used with object), persevered, persevering.
to bolster, sustain, or uphold: unflagging faith that had persevered him.

1325–75; Middle English perseveren < Middle French perseverer < Latin persevērāre to persist, derivative of persevērus very strict. See per-, severe

1. See continue. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
persevere (ˌpɜːsɪˈvɪə)
vb (often foll by in)
to show perseverance
[C14: from Old French perseverer, from Latin persevērāre, from perseverus very strict; see severe]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

mid-14c., from O.Fr. perseverer, from L. perseverare "continue steadfastly, persist," from persevereus "very strict, earnest," from per- "very" + severus "strict" (see severity).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
They persevered and eventually thrived, raising a surplus of wheat and building
  a strong community.
Scientists persevered, sending their instruments up on rockets and balloons
  whenever they could.
They persevered through it all, and at length the day arrived when they had a
  product ready to ship.
Convinced he was on the right track, he persevered in the face of adversity.
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