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From dictionary.com:

pertinacious

meaning:

  1. holding tenaciously to a purpose, course of action, or opinion; resolute.
  2. stubborn or obstinate.
  3. extremely or objectionably persistent.

while

pertinent

  1. pertaining or relating directly and significantly to the matter at hand; relevant.

I can't find anything in common in terms of their meaning. Although,

Pertinent:from Latin pertinēns, from pertinēre to pertain

Pertinacious:1620-30; pertinaci(ty) + -ous

And pertinent is related to pertinence, which looks similar to pertinacious. Is it a coincidence?

Let me know if these questions are not constructive, I'll stop posting. By the way, I'm studying vocabulary for English test so I'm trying to find a way to memorize words that look similar otherwise I'll have to do it all by rote.

  • Here's a text from 1816 setting out usage differences. But personally, I wouldn't bother wasting brain cells remembering pertinacious at all. It's very rarely used today, and usually when it is used it's just a pretentious alternative to tenacious anyway. Besides, I doubt it would be likely to turn up in a vocabulary test. – FumbleFingers May 19 '15 at 12:56
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They actually both derive from PER and TENET

Pertinacious:( 1620s, from pertinacy (late 14c.; see pertinacity):

  • pertinacity
  • c. 1500, from Middle French pertinacité (early 15c.), from Old French pertinace "obstinate, stubborn," from Latin pertinacem (nominative pertinax) "very firm, tenacious, steadfast, persevering," from per- "very" (see per) + tenax (see tenacious). It drove out earlier pertinacy (late 14c.).

  • tenacious (adj.) c. 1600, from Latin stem of tenacity + -ous.

  • tenacity (n.) early 15c., from Middle French ténacité (14c.) and directly from Latin tenacitas "an act of holding fast," from tenax (genitive tenacis) "holding fast, gripping, clingy; firm, steadfast," from tenere "to hold" (see tenet).

Pertinent:

  • late 14c., from Anglo-French purtinaunt (late 13c.), Old French partenant (mid-13c.) and directly from Latin pertinentem (nominative pertinens) "pertaining," present participle of pertinere "to relate, concern" (see pertain).

  • pertain (v.):early 14c., from Old French partenir "to belong to" and directly from Latin pertinere "to reach, stretch; relate, have reference to; belong, be the right of; be applicable," from per- "through" (see per) + tenere "to hold" (see tenet).

form Etymonline

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The answer is actually yes.

Latin (per)tinax and (per)tinens are both related to the verb tenere "to hold". pertinax is literally "holding fast to something".

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