adjective per·pet·u·al \pər-ˈpe-chə-wəl, -chəl; -ˈpech-wəl\

: continuing forever or for a very long time without stopping

: happening all the time or very often

Full Definition of PERPETUAL

a :  continuing forever :  everlasting <perpetual motion>
b (1) :  valid for all time <a perpetual right>
(2) :  holding (as an office) for life or for an unlimited time
:  occurring continually :  indefinitely long-continued <perpetual problems>
:  blooming continuously throughout the season
per·pet·u·al·ly adverb

Examples of PERPETUAL

  1. As always, I was struck by how the core values of the military—service and discipline, both physical and intellectual—are so different from the perpetual American Mardi Gras. —Joe Klein, Time, 29 Aug. 2005


Middle English perpetuel, from Anglo-French, from Latin perpetuus uninterrupted, from per- through + petere to go to — more at feather
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of PERPETUAL

continual, continuous, constant, incessant, perpetual, perennial mean characterized by continued occurrence or recurrence. continual often implies a close prolonged succession or recurrence <continual showers the whole weekend>. continuous usually implies an uninterrupted flow or spatial extension <football's oldest continuous rivalry>. constant implies uniform or persistent occurrence or recurrence <lived in constant pain>. incessant implies ceaseless or uninterrupted activity <annoyed by the incessant quarreling>. perpetual suggests unfailing repetition or lasting duration <a land of perpetual snowfall>. perennial implies enduring existence often through constant renewal <a perennial source of controversy>.

Other Seed Plant Terms

aubergine, box, bramble, briar, composite, pulse, trefoil
PERPETUAL Defined for Kids


adjective per·pet·u·al \pər-ˈpe-chə-wəl\

Definition of PERPETUAL for Kids

:  lasting forever or for a very long time <a perpetual memorial>
:  occurring continually :  constant <perpetual arguments>
per·pet·u·al·ly adverb
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