Quotes: Perseverence, Persistence

(consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing until it gets there)

perseverance (s) (noun), perseverances (pl)
1. A steady persistence in adhering to a course of action, a belief, or a purpose; steadfastness: Endurance and perseverance, when combined, can result in a successful endeavor.
2. The determined continuation with something; usually over a long period; especially, despite difficulties or setbacks: Perseverance usually indicates that something has been continued in spite of it not being easy to accomplish; in fact, perseverance is required to accomplish just about any skill.

Perseverance may be used in either a favorable or an unfavorable sense, and implies unremitting and sometimes annoying persistence; for example, talking when others want to study.

3. Etymology: from Latin perseverantia, "steadfastness, constancy".
A steadfast effort to do something.
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persevere (verb), perseveres; persevered; persevering
1. To persist in or to remain determined to achieve a purpose, idea, or task: Jim persevered in the face of obstacles and discouragements and refused to stop building a shed for the bicycles of the children who were living in his apartment building.
2. To strive steadily and be resolved and to maintain one's efforts; usually, over a long period and despite problems or difficulties: Glenda persevered in her university studies and graduated at the top of her class.
3. Etymology: from Old French perseverer, from Latin perseverare, "to continue steadfastly, to persist"; from persevereus, "very strict, earnest", from per-, "thoroughly" + severus, "strict".
To persist in doing something even despite great odds.
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1. To keep carrying on, to continue steadily or obstinately despite problems, difficulties, or obstacles.
2. To be obstinately repetitious, insistent, or tenacious.
3. To hold firmly and steadfastly to a purpose, state, or undertaking despite obstacles, warnings, or setbacks.
4. To continue being widely believed or accepted despite evidence or proof to the contrary. a view that persists to this day.
5. To continue happening, lasting, or existing.
6. Etymology: existing since 1538, from Middle French (about 1400-1600) persister, from Latin persistere, "to continue steadfastly"; from per-, "thoroughly" + sistere "to come to stand, to cause to stand still".
1. The quality of continuing steadily despite problems or difficulties.
2. To go on resolutely or stubbornly in spite of opposition, importunity, or warnings.
Least persistence is most direct route to failure.
A staying or continuing quality.
persistent (adjective), more persistent, most persistent
1. Referring to someone who is being tenacious or determined despite problems and difficulties: Sally has been a persistent worker in striving to achieve the company's objectives.
2. Pertaining to something which is incessant or unrelenting; existing or continuing for an unpleasantly long time: Extremely bad weather conditions have been a persistent problem in many parts of the country this winter.
3. Descriptive of something that is constantly repeated or continued: Many carpenters have been making persistent efforts to repair the damage done by the recent tornado.
Refusing to give up, stubborn, persevering.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

To continue to exist past the usual time, or to continue to do something in a determined way even when facing difficulties or opposition.


Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved, and always will solve, the problems of the human race.
—Calvin Coolidge

Taking the path of least persistence is the most direct route to failure.
—John Rayoa

Don't Quit!

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must—but don't you quit!
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup.

Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck—but, most of all, endurance.
—James Baldwin (1924-1987)

Use what talents you possess. The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.
—William Blake

Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.
—Walter Elliott

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