• perdure •
Pronunciation: per-jur • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Verb, intransitive (No direct objects)
Meaning: To endure permanently, to last or continue indefinitely.
Notes: Today's word is a member of a large and active family, unrelated to perjure, though it sounds a bit like it (different accent placement). That family contains two nouns, perdurance and perduration. It also contains two adjectives meaning "permanent, interminable": perdurant with its noun perdurance and perdurable. Perdurable has an adverb, perdurably, and a noun, perdurability.
In Play: Perdure is to endure for an exceptionally long time: "The city ordinance prohibiting kissing in buggies has perdured well beyond its useful life." This sense makes it particularly applicable to the Middle East, whose known history runs very deep: "Few have expectations for a perdurable peace in the Middle East; the current state of belligerence has perdured too long."
Word History: Today's Good Word starts out with a preposition that we discussed yesterday, per and ends with the root of durare "to last", a root that goes back to PIE duro- "long (time)". It appears in words like durable, during, duration, and others. If you know Latin, you are probably wondering if there is a connection with Latin durus "hard". A slim possibility looms in the fact that the durus comes from the same root as Russian derevo and Serbian drevo "wood, tree", some of which endure a long time and have wood that is notably hard. (It would be hard not to offer perdurable thanks to Lew Jury for suggesting today's staunch member of the English vocabulary.)
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- Grand Panjandrum
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