Middle French persistence (a1475) persistance (1495; French persistance) < persister PERSIST v. + -ence -ENCE suffix; compare -ANCE suffix. Compare post-classical Latin persistentia (6th cent.), Italian persistenza (1342 as persistentia), Spanish persistencia (1668).
- 1. The action or fact of persisting in a particular state, opinion, purpose, or course of action, esp. despite opposition, setback, or failure; the quality or virtue of being persistent.
- 2. a. Continued or prolonged existence or occurrence; duration; continuance.
- b. Physiol. The continuance of a sensation after the stimulus which caused it is removed. persistence of vision n. the brief retention of a visual impression on the retina after the stimulus which caused it ceases, used to create the illusion of a moving image in film and television.
- c. Physics. = CONSERVATION n. 3. Now hist. persistence of energy n. (also persistence of force) (the principle of) conservation of energy. persistence of matter n. (the principle of) conservation of mass.