- 1determined to do something despite difficulties, especially when other people are against you and think that you are being annoying or unreasonable How do you deal with persistent salesmen who won't take no for an answer? a persistent offender (= a person who continues to commit crimes after they have been caught and punished) She was persistent in her efforts to find a job. She can be very persistent when she wants something.
- 2continuing for a long period of time without interruption, or repeated frequently, especially in a way that is annoying and cannot be stopped synonym unrelenting persistent rain a persistent cough I can't take much more of this persistent criticism. He resigned over persistent rumors of his affair with an actress. Famine is a persistent problem in many parts of the world.
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adverb They have persistently denied claims of illegal trading. persistently high interest rates a prison for juveniles who persistently reoffend