durable

adjective

du·​ra·​ble ˈdu̇r-ə-bəl How to pronounce durable (audio)
 also  ˈdyu̇r-
: able to exist for a long time without significant deterioration in quality or value
a durable suitcase
also : designed to be durable
durable goods
durability noun
durableness noun
durably
ˈdu̇r-ə-blē How to pronounce durable (audio)
ˈdyu̇r-
adverb

Did you know?

Something durable lasts a long time, so it's no surprise that the word comes to us, via Anglo-French, from the Latin verb durare, meaning "to last." Other descendants of durare in English include during, endure, and durance (which now mostly turns up in the phrase "in durance vile," a fancy way of saying "in prison"). Durable even has a near synonym in the much rarer perdurable, which combines durare with the prefix per- (meaning "throughout") to create a word that can mean "lasting a very long time or indefinitely" or "eternal."

Choose the Right Synonym for durable

lasting, permanent, durable, stable mean enduring for so long as to seem fixed or established.

lasting implies a capacity to continue indefinitely.

a book that left a lasting impression on me

permanent adds usually the implication of being designed or planned to stand or continue indefinitely.

permanent living arrangements

durable implies power to resist destructive agencies.

durable fabrics

stable implies lastingness because of resistance to being overturned or displaced.

a stable government

Examples of durable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Waterston, who joined the series after the contentious departure of actor Michael Moriarty, helped prove that the format was durable enough to withstand major cast shakeups. Meredith Blake, Los Angeles Times, 23 Feb. 2024 Cozy enough to sleep in, durable enough for a hike, and elevated enough for a night on the town — what could be better? Alexandra Domrongchai, Travel + Leisure, 22 Feb. 2024 The system that produced a relatively durable foreign policy also enabled foreign policy disasters that left terrible stains on the records of the various factions. Elizabeth N. Saunders, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 One of the best ways to enhance sustainability is to specify timeless and durable furnishings, Brown observed. Jamie Gold, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 While the outside of the bottle is made from durable, lightweight plastic, the inside is made from break-proof glass, which ensures that your baby’s milk never comes in contact with plastic. Laura Lu, Ms, Parents, 19 Feb. 2024 Plastic bag bans have spread across the nation, but some data suggests that switching to more durable, multi-use bags creates some new problems – and in some cases means more, not less, plastic being used. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, 17 Feb. 2024 In addition to more personality and storage space, the family also wanted to create a space that was durable for their young daughter and pets. Sarah Yang, Sunset Magazine, 14 Feb. 2024 Left-hander Framber Valdez is a durable number-two starter who has thrown 399 1/3 innings since 2022 and made two All-Star teams, but Cristian Javier’s ERA increased by more than two runs last year from 2.54 to 4.56. Daniel R. Epstein, Forbes, 10 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'durable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin durabilis, from durare to last — more at during

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of durable was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near durable

Cite this Entry

“Durable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/durable. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

durable

adjective
du·​ra·​ble ˈd(y)u̇r-ə-bəl How to pronounce durable (audio)
: able to last a long time
durable clothing
durable goods
durably adverb
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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