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 Dictionary entry overview: What does perpetual mean? 

PERPETUAL (adjective)
  The adjective PERPETUAL has 3 senses:

1. continuing forever or indefinitely
2. uninterrupted in time and indefinitely long continuing
3. occurring so frequently as to seem ceaseless or uninterrupted

  Familiarity information: PERPETUAL used as an adjective is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 

PERPETUAL (adjective)

Sense 1perpetual [BACK TO TOP]


Continuing forever or indefinitely


unceasing; perpetual; everlasting; eternal; ageless; unending; eonian; aeonian

Context examples:

the ageless themes of love and revenge / eternal truths / life everlasting / hell's perpetual fires / the unending bliss of heaven


lasting; permanent (continuing or enduring without marked change in status or condition or place)

Sense 2perpetual [BACK TO TOP]


Uninterrupted in time and indefinitely long continuing


unremitting; never-ending; ceaseless; incessant; perpetual; unceasing; constant

Context examples:

the ceaseless thunder of surf / in constant pain / night and day we live with the incessant noise of the city / the never-ending search for happiness / the perpetual struggle to maintain standards in a democracy / man's unceasing warfare with drought and isolation / unremitting demands of hunger


continuous; uninterrupted (continuing in time or space without interruption)

Sense 3perpetual [BACK TO TOP]


Occurring so frequently as to seem ceaseless or uninterrupted


incessant; perpetual; endless

Context examples:

a child's incessant questions / your perpetual (or continual) complaints


continual (seemingly without interruption; chiefly restricted to what recurs regularly or frequently in a prolonged and closely spaced series)

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"There's no arguing with the barrel of a gun." (English proverb)

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"Whatever you sow, that's what you'll reap." (Armenian proverb)

"The fox can lose his fur but not his cunning." (Corsican proverb)

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