Definition of perpetual in English:


Syllabification: per·pet·u·al
Pronunciation: /pərˈpeCHo͞oəl


  • 1Never ending or changing: deep caves in perpetual darkness
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    • His subjects were taught that he created the dawn of each new day, so that his death in 1994 provoked fear of perpetual darkness.
    • Some labor under the delusion that Alaska is smitten with almost perpetual darkness in winter and never ending light in the summer.
    • Sontag saw the consequence of living in this perpetual state of fear as ‘an unparalleled violence that is being done to our sense of reality, our humanity’.
  • 1.1 [attributive] Denoting a position, job, or trophy held for life rather than a limited period, or the person holding it: a perpetual secretary of the society
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    • Their intention is, to crush all opposition, to their personal, perpetual world rule.
    • According to Clark, an unrestricted market with absolute and perpetual land titles is sufficient to allocate land efficiently and distribute rent fairly.
    • The ladies Cup, for which yachts competed at Rosses Point at the weekend is reputed to be the oldest perpetual trophy in the world for which sailors still compete.
  • 1.2(Of an investment) having no fixed maturity date; irredeemable: a perpetual bond
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    • Indeed banks issue perpetual bonds that have no maturity date.
    • In valuing equation, i should be the U.S. government perpetual bond yield representing the risk free rate for an infinite time horizon.
    • Those bonds issued by building societies that subsequently floated on the stock market are referred to as perpetual subordinated bonds (PSBs).
  • 2Occurring repeatedly; so frequent as to seem endless and uninterrupted: their perpetual money worries
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    • Now he took his anger out on all three of them, including Summer, whose poor grades and frequent partying were perpetual sources of disappointment.
    • Many of the small and shrinking group of health researchers in Pakistan work in a state of perpetual despondency, frequently with little access to policymakers and planners.
    • Meanwhile, there remained that perpetual money question.
    interminable, incessant, ceaseless, endless, without respite, relentless, unrelenting, persistent, continual, continuous, nonstop, never-ending, recurrent, repeated, unremitting, sustained, around/round-the-clock, chronic, unabating
    informal eternal
  • 2.1(Of a plant) blooming or fruiting several times in one season: he grows perpetual carnations
    More example sentences
    • He grows perpetual carnations, a laborious and painstaking business, putting a collar on each one to prevent it from splitting before a show.



More example sentences
  • This phrase is perpetually repeated as a chorus throughout the rest of the play.
  • All children's hospitals run on tight budgets and are perpetually short on finances.
  • If there's one thing we as a species feel perpetually compelled to do, it's explain things to ourselves and others.


Middle English: from Old French perpetuel, from Latin perpetualis, from perpetuus 'continuing throughout', from perpes, perpet- 'continuous'.

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Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little