4.4.7: Official Definition
A persistent transient failure is one in which the message as sent is valid, but persistence of some temporary condition has caused abandonment or delay of attempts to send the message. If this code accompanies a delivery failure report, sending in the future may be successful.
The message was considered too old by the rejecting system, either because it remained on that host too long or because the time-to-live value specified by the sender of the message was exceeded. If possible, the code for the actual problem found when delivery was attempted should be returned rather than this code.