Definition of perpetuity in English:


Pronunciation: /pəːpɪˈtjuːɪti//pəːpɪˈtjʃuːɪti/


  • 1[mass noun] The state or quality of lasting forever.

    ‘he did not believe in the perpetuity of military rule’
    • ‘Her sister, Elizabeth, wished to associate herself throughout perpetuity with piety, education and literature.’
    • ‘But books have some kind of sustainable perpetuity, so let's write the book.’
    • ‘I don't know that it's got much to do with the endocrine system, but you seem to have mastered the ‘integrity and perpetuity of life’.’
    • ‘The longevity and perpetuity, if not the excellence, of democracy has ensured that no individual or ideology has been able to paint this country in monochromatic colours.’
    • ‘In short, the second type of scrutiny, which is very essential in the criticism of traditions, relates to the constancy and perpetuity of the chain of narrators.’
    • ‘And last time I checked, perpetuity defied some laws of physics.’
    stability, durability, persistence, permanency, fixity, fixedness, changelessness, immutability, endurance, dependability, constancy, continuance, continuity, immortality, indestructibility, perpetuity, endlessness
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  • 2A bond or other security with no fixed maturity date.

    • ‘This is also about the length of time that discount rates converge to perpetuities.’
  • 3Law
    A restriction making an interest in land inalienable perpetually or for a period beyond certain limits fixed by law.

    • ‘It is proposed that in future there should be a statutory rule on perpetuities that applies only to specified interests, which are essentially only those arising under wills and trusts.’
    • ‘The study found that simply changing a state's perpetuities laws wasn't enough to attract trust assets.’
    • ‘The trust, being created by statute, cannot be held invalid on the ground of perpetuity or on any other ground.’


Late Middle English: from Old French perpetuite, from Latin perpetuitas, from perpetuus continuing throughout (see perpetual).