9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for persist
  • Flowers persist beyond bloom periods, gradually turning green.
  • You admit that it isn't feasible yet you persist with the myth.
  • Many experts envision a jobless recovery, in which the economy grows but job losses persist.
  • Pollutants in streams and well water persist long after reclamation.
  • People with the growth mindset persist in the face of failure.
  • Most of these attitudes are likely to persist.
  • Their journey is arduous and the land is filled with bandits, but the Benders persist in their efforts to build a new home.
  • Forgive me; and if you persist in indifference, do not make me your confidante.
  • Questions persist as to whether she was an innocent, a sophisticated schemer or a humanitarian.
  • Despite several threats to their lives, the sleuthing sister and her sidekick persist and finally ferret out the culprit.
British Dictionary definitions for persist


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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for persist

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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for persist

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for persist

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with persist