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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 persists
  • Access may be expanded even as stratification persists.
  • Faculty members want to know that there will be intervention if the problem persists.
  • However, their biggest threat-loss of wetlands-persists.
  • The natural world persists in abundance, while thousands of our own are dying.
  • But the longer it persists, the more devastating will be the ultimate collapse.
  • Yet the widespread belief persists that next time will be different.
  • Sault knows nothing about about power systems yet persists in his ignorant spew.
  • The maser oscillation persists as long as the hydrogen is fed into the system.
  • The property of having a dimension persists throughout all such subdivisions in the finite realm.
  • Until the past decade, experimentalists had not confirmed that quantum behavior persists on a macroscopic scale.
British Dictionary definitions for persists


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 persists



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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