Definitions

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

Etymologies

Back-formation from perseveration.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Specialized word derived from persevere +‎ -ate. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • 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

Comments

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  • 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