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From Middle English perpetuel, from Old French perpetuel, from Latin perpetuālis (universal),[1][2] from perpetuus, from petō.



perpetual (not comparable)

  1. Lasting forever, or for an indefinitely long time.
    Synonyms: persistent; see also Thesaurus:eternal
  2. Set up to be in effect or have tenure for an unlimited duration.
    perpetual copyright
  3. Continuing; uninterrupted.
    Synonyms: continuous, nonstop
    • 1834, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter XXVIII, in Francesca Carrara. [], volume II, London: Richard Bentley, [], (successor to Henry Colburn), →OCLC, page 297:
      "And yet," returned Francesca, "the secret of Arden's sufferings seems to have been in himself. From earliest youth he indulged in vain contrasts and repinings, and even his very love was selfish and cruel. Think how much happiness he lost by his perpetual exaggerations!"
    • 1986 June 6, Richard Feynman, “Personal observations on the reliability of the Shuttle”, in Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident, Report to the President:
      There are perpetual requests for changes as new payloads and new demands and modifications are suggested by the users.
  4. (botany) Flowering throughout the growing season.
    By means of artificial hybridization, practised for a series of years, he has succeeded in producing a race of carnations which are perpetual bloomers.
    The hybrid perpetual roses as a rule require to be pruned to within 4 to 6 inches of the ground.

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perpetual (plural perpetuals)

  1. Ellipsis of perpetual check.


  1. ^ perpetual”, in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present.
  2. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2024) “perpetual”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.

Further reading[edit]

  • perpetual”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.




perpetual m or f (masculine and feminine plural perpetuals)

  1. perpetual
    Synonym: perpetu

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Further reading[edit]