Etymology
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perse (adj.)

late 13c., "blue, bluish-gray," later "rich, dark blue; purplish-black," from Old French pers "(dark) blue, livid; wan, pale," from Late Latin persus, perhaps a back-formation from one of the early European forms of Persia. Compare indigo, from India.

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Persia 

c. 1200, Perse, "land of the Persians," from Latin Persia "Persia," from Greek Persis, from Old Persian Parsa (cognate with Persian Fars, Hebrew Paras, Arabic Faris).

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Persephone 

wife of Hades, queen of the netherworld, identified with Kore, daughter of Zeus and Demeter, from Greek Persephone. De Vaan writes that "The name was always considered obscure" until a thorough investigation published in 2006 reported that the original form was persophatta, "as found in eight attestations, seven of which are on 5th c. BC Attic vases (by seven different painters)." He analyzes it as *perso-, cognate with Sanskrit parsa- "sheaf of corn," + a second element from the PIE root *gwhen- "to hit, strike" (see bane) thus "a female thresher of corn."

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Perseus 

Greek hero, son of Zeus and Danaë, slayer of the gorgon Medusa, from Greek Perseus, a name of unknown origin. Also the name of an ancient northern constellation representing him.

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persecute (v.)

mid-15c., persecuten, "to oppress for the holding of an opinion or adherence to a particular creed or mode of worship," from Old French persécuter "pursue, torment, open legal action" (14c.) and directly from Latin persecutus, past participle of persequi "to follow, pursue, hunt down; proceed against, prosecute, start a legal action," from per "through" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "through") + sequi "follow" (from PIE root *sekw- (1) "to follow"). Related: Persecuted; persecuting.

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persea (n.)

sacred fruit-bearing tree of Egypt and Persia, c. 1600, from Latin persea, from Greek persea; Beekes says the tree name in Greek, though referring to the tree in Egypt, reflects its Persian origin. Used from early 19c. of a genus of trees and shrubs in the West Indies.

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Perseid (n.)

"a meteor from an annual shower that appears to radiate from the constellation Perseus," 1867, from Modern Latin Perseides (plural; Schiaparelli, 1866), from Greek Perseis "daughter of Perseus" (see Perseus; also see -id). The name might have been introduced in English via the writings of Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli. Other recorded old names for them in English include August meteors and Tears of St. Lawrence (whose feast day is August 10).

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persecutor (n.)

early 15c., persecutour, "one who pursues and harasses another unjustly and vexatiously," especially "a persecutor of Christians, an oppressor (of the Church or Christians)," from Anglo-French persecutour, Old French persecutor "persecutor, enemy" (12c., Modern French persécuteur) and directly from Latin persecutor, agent noun from persequi (see persecution). 

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Persepolis 

ancient capital of Persia, founded 6c. B.C.E. by Darius the Great; from Greek, literally "city of the Persians," from Perses "Persians" (see Persian) + -polis "city" (see polis). The modern Iranian name for the place is Takht-e-jamshid, literally "throne of Jamshid," a legendary king whose name was substituted when Darius was forgotten. Related: Persepolitan.

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persevere (v.)

"to persist in what one has undertaken, to pursue steadily a design or course," late 14c., perseveren, from Old French perseverer "continue, persevere, endure" and directly from Latin perseverare "continue steadfastly, persist," from persevereus "very strict, earnest," from per "very" (see per) + severus "serious, grave, strict, austere," which is probably from PIE root *segh- "to have, hold," on the notion of "steadfastness, toughness." Related: Persevered; persevering.

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