Word of the Day

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


\per-SEV-uh-reyt\ , intransitive verb;
To involuntarily repeat a particular response, such as a word, phrase, or gesture, despite the absence or cessation of a stimulus, usually caused by brain injury or other organic disorder.
To repeat something insistently or redundantly.
"Perseverate is a word I grew up using because my sister Claire was often said to be "perseverating again." She would get stuck on whether or not the cat was eating enough and if my mother was off somewhere getting sucked up by a tornado.
-- Jeanne Marie Laskas, Growing Girls
We repeat ourselves. The mind perseverates. The road is rutted and grooved, and beside the road are familiar ditches.
-- Eric Maisel, Deep Writing: 7 Principles That Bring Ideas to Life
To ensure the accuracy of their data, the research scientists necessarily perseverate, repeating each experiments many times and comparing the results of the trials.
Perseverate is a back formation of perseveration from Middle French perseveration from Old French and classical Latin persevertiōn-, singular of persevērātiō.
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