verb per·sist \pər-ˈsist, -ˈzist\

: to continue to do something or to try to do something even though it is difficult or other people want you to stop

: to continue to occur or exist beyond the usual, expected, or normal time

Full Definition of PERSIST

intransitive verb
:  to go on resolutely or stubbornly in spite of opposition, importunity, or warning
obsolete :  to remain unchanged or fixed in a specified character, condition, or position
:  to be insistent in the repetition or pressing of an utterance (as a question or an opinion)
:  to continue to exist especially past a usual, expected, or normal time
per·sist·er noun

Origin of PERSIST

Middle French persister, from Latin persistere, from per- + sistere to take a stand, stand firm; akin to Latin stare to stand — more at stand
First Known Use: 1538

Synonym Discussion of PERSIST

continue, last, endure, abide, persist mean to exist over a period of time or indefinitely. continue applies to a process going on without ending <the search for peace will continue>. last, especially when unqualified, may stress existing beyond what is normal or expected <buy shoes that will last>. endure adds an implication of resisting destructive forces or agencies <in spite of everything, her faith endured>. abide implies stable and constant existing especially as opposed to mutability <a love that abides through 40 years of marriage>. persist suggests outlasting the normal or appointed time and often connotes obstinacy or doggedness <the sense of guilt persisted>.
PERSIST Defined for Kids


verb per·sist \pər-ˈsist\

Definition of PERSIST for Kids

:  to keep on doing or saying something :  continue stubbornly <The reporter persisted with questions.>
:  to last on and on :  continue to exist or occur <Rain persisted for days.>

Word Root of PERSIST

The Latin word sistere, meaning to stand, to appear, to stop, or to put, gives us the root sist. Words from the Latin sistere have something to do with standing, appearing, stopping, or putting. To assist, or help, is to stand by someone in order to give aid. To consist is to be made up of a number of thing put together. To exist, or have actual being, is to appear real. To persist is to refuse to stop doing or saying something.


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