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 Dictionary entry overview: What does persistent mean? 

PERSISTENT (adjective)
  The adjective PERSISTENT has 3 senses:

1. never-ceasing
2. continually recurring to the mind
3. retained; not shed

  Familiarity information: PERSISTENT used as an adjective is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 

PERSISTENT (adjective)

Sense 1persistent [BACK TO TOP]




persistent; relentless; unrelenting

Context example:

the relentless beat of the drums


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

Sense 2persistent [BACK TO TOP]


Continually recurring to the mind


haunting; persistent

Context examples:

haunting memories / the cathedral organ and the distant voices have a haunting beauty


unforgettable (impossible to forget)

Sense 3persistent [BACK TO TOP]


Retained; not shed


lasting; persistent

Context examples:

persistent leaves remain attached past maturity / the persistent gills of fishes

Domain category:

biological science; biology (the science that studies living organisms)


caducous (shed at an early stage of development)

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