Printable Version
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 purjury or the verb perjure (different accent placement). Today's word belongs to a family containing 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 means 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 the preposition per and ends with the root of durare "to last", a root that goes back to PIE duro- "long (time)". It also 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 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.)

Dr. Goodword,

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