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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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A Word A Day — pertinacious

Good morning, Netizens...

November 18, 2012

Word of the Day

  • pertinacious
  • audio pronunciation
  • \per-tuh-NAY-shus\


a : adhering resolutely to an opinion, purpose, or design b : perversely persistent
: stubbornly tenacious

He has spent his entire adult life as a pertinacious and unwavering defender of civil rights.

"The 22-year-old paraplegic hasn't let his life-changing accident slow him down. He has branched out to new sports and even continues to snowmobile. He is pertinacious." — From an article by Tom Patrick in Yukon News, August 31, 2012


If you say "pertinacious" out loud, it might sound familiar. That may be because if you take away the word's first syllable, you're left with something very similar to the word "tenacious," which means "tending to adhere or cling." The similarity between "pertinacious" and "tenacious" isn't mere coincidence; both words derive from "tenax," the Latin word for "tenacious," and ultimately from the verb "tenēre," meaning "to hold." Another descendant of "tenēre" is "tenure," a word that is typically used of the right to hold a job (especially a teaching position) for as long as desired.

Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.