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What does perseverance mean?

i have a summer reading assignment and I have to know what perseverance means, but I don't. Please help me 
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Persevere comes from the Latin words "per" and "assevero".  Per means" through (space) or during (time)".  Assevero means to "act earnestly, assert strongly, be serious, and emphatically declare".  http://www.latin-dictionary.org
When searching for word meanings, it helps to know the etymology.  Etymologies are not definitions.  They are word origins that help you understand the definition or connotation of a word. Use a combination of the definition and etymology to really understand a word.
Perseverance is the continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition : the action or condition or an instance of persevering
 
In other words: the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult