Is there a noun to describe a person who perseveres? I suppose a survivor is one who has survived difficult circumstances, and a soldier could be one that soldiers on, but neither word has quite the right connotation. I want the sense of "continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty" without necessarily calling to mind images of trauma or war.

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    What did you find when you looked up synonyms of persevere, so that we don't give you words you don't want? Also, do you want a noun or an adjective, as adjectives describe. May 13 '14 at 21:48
  • I didn't find any words with an associated "one who <verb>s" noun other than the ones that I listed. And actually, I didn't even find those in the thesaurus I was using.
    – Joe
    May 13 '14 at 21:52
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    I'm looking for a noun, as stated in the question
    – Joe
    May 13 '14 at 21:56
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    I like perseverer, or if that's not enough, perseverationist. May 13 '14 at 23:52
  • @JohnLawler Your perseverer seems best when sticking to the basic word. It does remind me of something that gets severed (as with Gene Wolfe’s headsman, who’s named Severian), but then so too does Shakespeare’s spelling of the verb persever without a final e as we use today. Pity that perseverant is almost only ever used adjectivally. Apparently perseverate has its own special meaning to the shrinks, so I don’t know that perseverationist would work for all audiences. However, if it did, then one might as well shorten it down to perseverator.
    – tchrist
    May 14 '14 at 0:15

10 Answers 10


I think the best slang term I can think of is trooper.

Anyone who exhibits EXTREME perseverence, fortitude, and tenacity.


  • Bill has had cancer 4 times and is still in great shape, he's such a trooper.

Note: As Gnawme indicated in the comments trouper is an alternative spelling.

I also offer stoic, as it is someone who perseveres and does so without complaining.

noun noun: stoic; plural noun: stoics; noun: Stoic; plural noun: Stoics

  1. a person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining.

And since I cannot resist on using sports terms for everything. If this person were playing football, soccer, baseball, basketball, and they went through a lot of hardships and injuries yet still played on through everything they might be called a gamer.

Usage: Bob has a pulled hamstring and a beat up foot but he has played the last 3 days, he such a gamer.

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    Actually, the term is trouper.
    – Gnawme
    May 13 '14 at 22:16
  • Thanks @Gnawme! I had no idea there was an alternative spelling to it. I have used trooper my entire life - maybe it is AE? I will edit to add that in. May 13 '14 at 22:19
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    Well, trooper is an incorrect spelling of trouper; see the "Can be confused" note at the link.
    – Gnawme
    May 13 '14 at 23:02
  • @Gnawme - The OED gives these definitions of the colloquial uses: trooper: A brave or stalwart person. trouper: A reliable, uncomplaining person; a staunch supporter or colleague. I have a feeling it was a common misspelling that became eventually acceptable. May 14 '14 at 4:53
  • trooper and trouper are different words with different etymologies and meanings. The primary associations for trooper all have to do with military troops, which is why the colloquial version focuses on bravery.
    – Joe
    May 18 '14 at 6:39


Persevering with something despite setbacks

he was undeterred by these disasters

You can check the synonyms also. I would also add that adjectives are better for this context.

Apparently, perseverer is a word and a noun, though it is not that common.

one that perseveres : a persistent person

From the book "The Great Awakening: A Buddhist Social Theory" By David Loy:

Each Tibetan knew that the moral Buddhist cared more for the welfare of others more than his or her own welfare, gave others rather than amassed a fortune, rigorously tried to prevent harm to others, never engaged in any of the nonvirtuous acts, had complete devotion to the Buddha and his path, worked to eliminate anger and desire for material goods, accepted problems with patience and endurance, and remained an enthusiastic perseverer in the quest for truth and enlightenment.

Also endurer as a noun:

One who, or that which, endures or lasts; one who bears, suffers, or sustains.

From "Don Quixote" by Cervantes, Miguel:

Humble with the proud, haughty with the humble, encounterer of dangers, endurer of outrages, enamoured without reason, imitator of the good, scourge of the wicked, enemy of the mean, in short, knight-errant, which is all that can be said!

  • Perseverer is technically the word I'm looking for, but it just sounds so awkward; it doesn't sound like a real word.
    – Joe
    May 13 '14 at 22:07
  • @Joe: Yes it is not a common word as I mentioned. In my opinion, adjectives are better for this context.
    – 0..
    May 13 '14 at 22:08
  • Do you have any example usages of either noun?
    – Joe
    May 14 '14 at 3:40
  • @Joe: Added example usages. It is a bit challenge to find examples also because you come up with French sources when you search them.
    – 0..
    May 14 '14 at 4:41
  • perseverer isn't in the oed, although endurer is. I don't know how you found any examples of usage of perseverer. I couldn't.
    – Joe
    May 18 '14 at 6:40

Consider fighter.

fighter: a pugnacious, unyielding, or determined person; a person with the courage or determination to fight, struggle, etc.

"They say he's stable, he's gained a little weight, and his lungs are in better shape. "He's a fighter," she said."

"I'm A Fighter"

On different levels, someone who continues in a course of action even in the face of difficulty can be described as a go-getter, a winner, or a diehard.



Stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or course of action:

I argued this point with him, but he was obdurate

You might also refer to a mountain as 'obdurate' as it exists essentially unchanged regardless of weather and humanity. So further to its innate meaning, similes like, 'he is obdurate as the mountain' can be constructed in the semantic direction you seek.

edit: didn't see that you wanted a noun specifically, so:

Adamant/Adamance/Adamancy Stemming from adamas latin for invincible, untameable.

Refusing to be persuaded or to change one’s mind

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    Via Latin, but άδαμας itself is Greek. (Sorry for the missing spiritus lenis; typing on my phone.) May 14 '14 at 0:23

A noun which does not contain any connotations of war or trauma as requested by the OP is a nonquitter also spelled non-quitter

  • One who is not a quitter.

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    @Mari-LouA the old comments are stale after the edit. Removing.
    – Joe
    May 17 '14 at 22:31

determined: strongly motivated to succeed (undismayed, undaunted, single-minded).

John Kerry tells Israeli TV he will get the Israeli-Palestinian peace deal done. He is determined.

For nouns, there are warrior, hero, and champion.


Battler. In northern English you might say 'he's a battler' meaning someone who has struggled against large odds.


A perseverant person/endeavour/effort.

per·se·ver·ant adjective -nt\
able or willing to persevere : enduring Origin of PERSEVERANT
Middle English perseveraunt, from Middle French perseverant, from Latin perseverant-, perseverans, present participle of perseverare

  • The question requested a noun; I can find no substantive uses of perseverant to speak of.
    – tchrist
    May 14 '14 at 0:16
  • With much appreciation for the determined and obdurate reminder. May 14 '14 at 3:46
  • I cannot speak for others, but I would fully understand perseverant were it used substantively. This seems to be the most eloquent recommendation.
    – Anonym
    May 17 '14 at 5:10

Someone with stick-to-itiveness is called a sticker. From the OED:

Sticker 3a.) One who or something which adheres or remains attached; one who remains constant; one who persists in a task. Const. to, †unto.

and two examples of usage, also from the OED:

1967 ‘C. Fremlin’ Prisoner's Base xii. 84 Daphne did not believe in dropping things; she was, as she would have told you, a Sticker.

1979 N. Hynd False Flags viii. 71 Bobby wasn't any quitter. He was a sticker.


I think the word you are looking for is Stoic.

  • 2
    Welcome to ELU :-)! Stoic is a fitting word for the OP's question (IMO), but your answer would substantially improve if you added a definition or examples of usage, with references. This way it would be more useful for both the OP and future users of the website. You can always edit your own posts, regardless of your current reputation.
    – Lucky
    Apr 28 '15 at 16:05

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