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1. Steady persistence in adhering to a course of action, a belief, or a purpose; steadfastness.
2. Christianity The Calvinistic doctrine that those who have been chosen by God will continue in a state of grace to the end and will finally be saved.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. continued steady belief or efforts, withstanding discouragement or difficulty; persistence
2. (Theology) Christianity persistence in remaining in a state of grace until death
ˌperseˈverant adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌpɜr səˈvɪər əns)

steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., esp. in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
[1300–50; Middle English perseveraunce < Middle French perseverance < Latin persevērantia. See persevere, -ance]
per`se•ver′ant, adj.
syn: perseverance, persistence, tenacity imply determined continuance in a state or in a course of action. perseverance suggests effort maintained in spite of difficulties or long-continued application; it is used in a favorable sense: The scientist's perseverance finally paid off in a coveted prize. persistence, which may be used in a favorable or unfavorable sense, implies steadfast, unremitting continuance in spite of opposition or protest: an annoying persistence in a belief. tenacity is a dogged and determined holding on: the stubborn tenacity of a salesman.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



(See also ENDURANCE.)

come hell or high water Come what may, no matter what; also in spite of hell or high water. P. I. Wellman in Trampling Herd (1939) claims the following as the origin of the expression:

“In spite of hell and high water” … is a legacy of the cattle trail when the cowboys drove their hornspiked masses of longhorns through high water at every river and continuous hell between.

Whether originally a cowboy expression or not, hell and high water symbolize any difficulties or obstacles to be overcome. The expression has been in use since at least 1915.

die-hard A hard-core supporter; one who struggles and resists to the bitter end, particularly against change or innovation; literally one who dies hard. This expression reputedly had its origin in the Battle of Albuera (1811) where the 57th Regiment of Foot of the British Army fought desperately to maintain a strategic position. In the midst of the fighting, Colonel Inglis is said to have urged his men on by shouting “Die hard! 57th, die hard!” The last-ditch courage and stamina with which the 57th fought that day earned them the nickname the “Die-hards,” by which their regiment is known to this day. Use of this term dates from at least 1844.

don’t give up the ship Keep fighting or trying, hang in there. Although this expression was not new at the time of the Battle of Lake Erie (September 10, 1813) when Commodore Perry adopted it as his battle cry, it was he who popularized the words and made them memorable. The expression has extended beyond its naval origins and application and is now currently used to give encouragement to people in all walks of life.

happy warrior One who is undaunted or undiscouraged by adversity, a diehard; often used of a politician who is a perennial candidate for nomination or election to high office. The nickname “Happy Warrior” was first applied to Alfred E. Smith, Democratic candidate in the presidential election of 1928.

He [Alfred E. Smith] is the “Happy Warrior” of the political battlefield. (Franklin Delano Roosevelt, New York Times, June, 1924)

The term was later applied to Hubert Humphrey, Democratic candidate for President in 1968 and many times a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. The term was first used in the conventional sense of an excellent soldier, a fighter—a meaning which is reflected in its figurative application to political “warriors.”

hold one’s ground To firmly maintain or defend one’s position; to resist the pressure to compromise one’s ideals. Although this expression can refer to maintaining ground literally, as in a battle, it is more frequently heard in regard to defending a philosophical stance. The two levels of usage are related, however, because even in war there is a philosophical basis for defending one’s ground, meaning territory, land, etc. This expression and its variants keep or stand one’s ground appeared in print by the 17th century.

It is not easy to see how it [Individuality] can stand its ground. (John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859)

keep a stiff upper lip To keep one’s courage when confronted with adversity, to remain resolute in the face of great difficulties, not to lose heart. The allusion is to the quivering of the upper lip when a person is trying to maintain control and keep from crying in the face of danger or great emotional stress.

“What’s the use o’ boo-hooin’? … Keep a stiff upper lip; no bones >broke—don’t I know?” (John Neal, The Down Easters, 1833)

The expression dates from the early part of the 19th century.

keep one’s chin up To maintain one’s courage and resolve, to keep one’s spirits up, to keep one’s head held high. This American expression has been in use since at least 1938.

Keep your chin up honey. (I. Baird, Waste Heritage, 1939)

keep one’s nose to the grindstone To persist in an unpleasant task; to labor continuously, especially at hard, monotonous work; to labor unceasingly; to drudge. The allusion is perhaps to laborers hovering over grindstones or whetstones to sharpen tools made dull from constant use. The expression and variants, which date from at least 1532, originally meant to oppress someone else by exaction of labor.

keep one’s pecker up To keep one’s chin up, to hold one’s head high, to keep one’s spirits or courage up. In this British slang expression pecker means ‘spirits, courage.’ It probably derives from the term pecker for a bird’s beak or bill. Cockfighting is sometimes cited as the source of the phrase, since a gamecock’s pecker or beak sinks when he is tired and near defeat. Thus, the expression literally means to keep up one’s beak (British slang for nose). This of course cannot be done without keeping the head and chin up as well. The expression, which dates from at least 1853, is avoided in the United States, where pecker has an altogether different and vulgar slang meaning.

nail one’s colors to the mast To fight or hold out until the bitter end; to refuse to compromise, concede, or surrender; to persist or remain steadfast, especially in the face of seemingly overwhelming opposition. It has long been nautical custom for a ship to signify its nationality or allegiance by flying that country’s colors (i.e., flag) from its tallest mast. In battle, a captain could signal his surrender or defeat by lowering the flag. If the colors were nailed to the mast, however, they could not be lowered, implying that surrender was not possible.

If they catch you at disadvantage, the mines for your life is the word, … and so we fight them with our colours nailed to the mast. (Sir Walter Scott, The Pirate, 1821)

praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition Keep up the struggle, don’t give up. This expression, although rarely used today, was the title of a popular song during World War II. It has been attributed to Chaplain Howell Forgy, who was on board the cruiser New Orleans in Pearl Harbor at the time of the Japanese attack in 1941. During the assault the chaplain helped fuel a counterattack by carrying ammunition to the ship’s guns. He is purported to have said the now famous words “Praise the Lord, boys—and pass the ammunition.”

stick to one’s guns To stand firm, to persist in one’s point of view, argument, or beliefs; not to yield or give in, to hold one’s ground.

An animated colloquy ensued. Manvers stuck to his guns. (Mrs. Alexander, Brown, V.C., 1899)

Of military origin, this phrase was originally to stand to one’s gun(s), meaning literally to stand by one’s gun, to keep fighting no matter what.

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.perseverance - persistent determinationperseverance - persistent determination    
determination, purpose - the quality of being determined to do or achieve something; firmness of purpose; "his determination showed in his every movement"; "he is a man of purpose"
2.perseverance - the act of persisting or persevering; continuing or repeating behavior; "his perseveration continued to the point where it was no longer appropriate"
continuance, continuation - the act of continuing an activity without interruption
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


noun persistence, resolution, determination, dedication, stamina, endurance, tenacity, diligence, constancy, steadfastness, doggedness, purposefulness, pertinacity, indefatigability, sedulity Perseverance will pay off in the end.
"If at first you don't succeed,"
"Try, try, try again" [William E. Hickson Try and Try Again]
"The best way out is always through" [Robert Frost A Servant to Servants]
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


The state or quality of being insistent:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
مُواظَبَه، مُثابَرَه على


[ˌpɜːsɪˈvɪərəns] Nperseverancia f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˌpɜːrsɪˈvɪərəns] npersévérance f
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


nAusdauer f(with mit), Beharrlichkeit f(with bei)
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˌpɜːsɪˈvɪərns] nperseveranza
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(pəːsiˈviə) verb
to continue to (try to) do something in spite of difficulties. He persevered in his task.
ˌperseˈverance noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
If a woman may ever be said to be in safety from the determined Perseverance of disagreeable Lovers and the cruel Persecutions of obstinate Fathers, surely it must be at such a time of Life.
Love such as his, in a man like himself, must with perseverance secure a return, and at no great distance; and he had so much delight in the idea of obliging her to love him in a very short time, that her not loving him now was scarcely regretted.
'But, however, I know you have better motives, really, for your perseverance: and I counsel you to keep them still in view.'
"I cannot attribute this new overthrow of my hopes to any want of perseverance or penetration in making the necessary inquiries.
has learnt Perseverance in the School of Adversity.
THE continued absence of Matthieu and his party had, by this time, caused great uneasiness in the mind of Captain Bonneville; and, finding there was no dependence to be placed upon the perseverance and courage of scouting parties in so perilous a quest, he determined to set out himself on the search, and to keep on until he should ascertain something of the object of his solicitude.
I found her possessed in a somewhat remarkable degree of at least two good points, viz., perseverance and a sense of duty; I found she was really capable of applying to study, of contending with difficulties.
Not a sign of a Crow was to be seen; but this did not assure them of their security, well knowing the perseverance of these savages in dogging any party they intend to rob, and the stealthy way in which they can conceal their movements, keeping along ravines and defiles.
An ancient Hawaiian war-club or spear-paddle, in its full multiplicity and elaboration of carving, is as great a trophy of human perseverance as a Latin lexicon.
There is a large bar with a marble vase, out of which the pumper gets the water; and there are a number of yellow-looking tumblers, out of which the company get it; and it is a most edifying and satisfactory sight to behold the perseverance and gravity with which they swallow it.
He said much of his earnest desire of their living in the most sociable terms with his family, and pressed them so cordially to dine at Barton Park every day till they were better settled at home, that, though his entreaties were carried to a point of perseverance beyond civility, they could not give offence.
With the ant-heap the respectable race of ants began and with the ant-heap they will probably end, which does the greatest credit to their perseverance and good sense.