Preserve vs persevere

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Preserve and persevere are two words that are pronounced and spelled in a similar fashion and are often confused. We will examine the definitions of preserve and persevere, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Preserve means to keep something in its existing state, to maintain something, to keep something alive or safe. Preserve may also mean to apply techniques to food that keep it from spoiling. Finally, a preserve is a place where animals are protected from hunting, or a place where people pay to hunt. Preserve is used as a noun or a verb, related words are preserves, preserved, preserving, preservation. The word preserve is derived from the Latin word preservare meaning to keep.

Persevere means to keep to a course of action in spite of the difficulty or lack of encouragement. Someone who perseveres usually has strength of conviction and character. The word persevere is a verb, related words are perseveres, persevered, persevering, perseverance. The word persevere is derived from the Latin word perseverare, which means persist.


“There is now an interest in transferring this subsidy to one or more rental developments so that the affordable resource can be preserved in the City of Pittsburgh,” according to the URA’s request for proposals. (The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Area yak and alpaca farmer Chris Butz is expanding his agritourism offerings by opening the first game bird preserve in Leelanau County. (The Traverse City Record Eagle)

Having already persevered through a major roster purge and persistent questions at quarterback, the Bills now showed they’re capable of braving the arctic elements to remain firmly in a convoluted playoff picture. (The Hickory Record)

“As I look forward, I believe that my background and experiences growing up in our city, graduating from this school and working for the district have provided me with the historical knowledge and competence not only to challenge myself, but to persevere in the critical work that lies before us — ensuring that all of our students and staff realize their full potential,” Commerford said. (The Albany Times Union)