In computer science, persistence refers to the characteristic of state that outlives the process that created it. From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persistence_%28computer_science%29

In computer science, persistence refers to the characteristic of state that outlives the process that created it. Without this capability, state would only exist in RAM, and would be lost when this RAM loses power, such as a computer shutdown.

This is achieved in practice by storing the state as data in non-volatile storage such as a hard drive or flash memory.

Picture editing programs or word processors, for example, achieve state persistence by saving their documents to files.

From Wikipedia: Persistence

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