from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. Psychology To manifest or experience perseveration.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. describing the behavior, generally displayed by those with various developmental disabilities, of extraordinary, exclusive and lasting obsession to a detail or occurrence others consider minor.
  • v. to repeat or continue a pattern.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. psychology: repeat a response after the cessation of the original stimulus


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Back-formation from perseveration.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Specialized word derived from persevere +‎ -ate.


  • This propensity to perseverate is sometimes self-destructive, as when I am unable to stop practicing a single piece on the piano or to quit solitaire, but

    George A. Akerlof - Autobiography

  • "Journalists" seeking to perseverate the entire "controversy" by asking him if he thinks it will continue to be a distraction?

    Sanford says it's time to move on, pressed on no wedding ring

  • On the medicine, he says he was able to fully shift his attention from one situation to the next rather than perseverate on a previous conversation, and could plan what he was going to do next rather than get distracted by a phone call and forget what he was doing.

    Psychiatric Drug Use Spreads

  • Uneasiness may perseverate, developing into intractable feelings that seem insurmountable.

    Jessica Zucker, Ph.D.: PBS's 'This Emotional Life': Postpartum Depression

  • We perseverate instead, and cannot resolve the conflict or make decisions.

    The Chemistry of Calm

  • Hopefully, having written this will discharge my need to perseverate over book covers—at least until the next installment of Jacket Whys sets me off again….

    Book Covers, My Pretties...

  • If an acquaintance ruffles you, you walk away and mutter "jerk" under your breath, then forget about it; if an intimate hurts you, you perseverate on the offense forever.

    Joyce McFadden: Marriage: A Cakewalk

  • And I'm not going to perseverate —or proliferate any programmatic perorations — about the proper spelling of "doughnut."

    Drive-by photography — L.A.

  • One might suggest that the babies in the non-social condition were less likely to perseverate because they were less interested in the game and just didn't learn the connection between the ball and Bucket 1 as well.

    Archive 2008-10-01

  • Will be able to keep us in war endlessly because he is the kind of person who will perseverate

    The New Big Lie


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Let the record skip the skipping!

    December 10, 2017

  • .......on/and/on/and/yonder....ponder!

    December 10, 2017

  • minor is major and/or major is minor!! and all that is twain!?!

    December 10, 2017

  • My mother's perseverating phrase, 'Don't perseverate on it!!!' that I am just beginning to understand (stand under) again and again. I believe it was required even after the 40 years since she died. But I (am still (emtionally))shouldn't perserverate on it! Go fig-u-rate that???

    December 10, 2017

  • I first and only time I ever heard this word used was by my girlfriend speech pathologist; "You're perseverating!" It was a good lesson: I never forgot it, nor do I perseverate (uh huh).

    February 21, 2010

  • "We repeat ourselves. The mind perseverates. The road is rutted and grooved, and beside the road are familiar ditches."

    - Eric Maisel, 'Deep Writing: 7 Principles That Bring Ideas to Life'.

    November 17, 2009