1. Refusing to give up or let go; persevering obstinately.
2. Insistently repetitive or continuous: a persistent honking of car horns.
3. Existing or remaining in the same state for an indefinitely long time; enduring: persistent rumors; a persistent infection.
4. Botany Lasting past maturity without falling off, as the calyx on an eggplant or the scales of a pine cone.
5. Zoology Retained permanently, rather than disappearing in an early stage of development: the persistent gills of fishes.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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