Etymology
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persistent (adj.)

1723, "enduring," at first mostly in botany, from persistence or from Latin persistentem (nominative persistens), present participle of persistere (see persist). Meaning "continuing in spite of opposition, warning, etc." is by 1830. Shakespeare used persistive. Related: Persistently.

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Definitions of persistent

persistent (adj.)
never-ceasing;
Synonyms: relentless / unrelenting
persistent (adj.)
continually recurring to the mind; "the cathedral organ and the distant voices have a haunting beauty"- Claudia Cassidy;
Synonyms: haunting
persistent (adj.)
retained; not shed;
persistent leaves remain attached past maturity
the persistent gills of fishes
Synonyms: lasting
persistent (adj.)
stubbornly unyielding; "a mind not gifted to discover truth but tenacious to hold it"- T.S.Eliot;
From wordnet.princeton.edu