im·​per·​vi·​ous | \ (ˌ)im-ˈpər-vē-əs How to pronounce impervious (audio) \

Definition of impervious

1a : not allowing entrance or passage : impenetrable a coat impervious to rain
b : not capable of being damaged or harmed a carpet impervious to rough treatment
2 : not capable of being affected or disturbed impervious to criticism

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Other Words from impervious

imperviously adverb
imperviousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for impervious


impenetrable, impermeable, tight


penetrable, permeable, pervious

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Did You Know?

The English language is far from impervious, and, of course, a great many Latinate terms have entered it throughout its history. Impervious is one of the many that broke through in the 17th century. It comes from the Latin impervius, which adds the prefix im- to pervius, meaning "passable" or "penetrable." Pervius-which is also the source of the relatively uncommon English word pervious, meaning "accessible" or "permeable"-comes from per-, meaning "through," and via, meaning "way."

Examples of impervious in a Sentence

He looked at her, impervious to her tears … — Jean Stafford, Children Are Bored on Sunday, (1945) 1953 … the trunk … is encased in so hard a bark, as to be almost impervious to a bullet … — Herman Melville, Omoo, 1847 … Berlin struck me, above all, as impervious to any political reactions whatever … — Stephen Spender, New York Times Magazine, 30 Oct.1977 the material for this coat is supposed to be impervious to rain the rain forest is impervious to all but the most dedicated explorers
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Recent Examples on the Web

And anything in the watershed could end up in the river – especially because of the massive amount of impervious surfaces, from roads to buildings, that sends rain rushing into storm sewers. Laura Johnston,, "How you can help clean the future of the Cuyahoga River: Cuyahoga50," 18 June 2019 That alone doesn't suggest to us that the C8 is impervious to aftermarket tuning efforts—only that the C8 is, well, like any other modern vehicle. Alexander Stoklosa, Car and Driver, "The 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette's Engine Computer is Tuner-Resistant? We Think Not," 30 May 2019 Nearly everybody plays multiple positions, leaving the Dodgers practically impervious to injuries. Brian Costa, WSJ, "Red Sox, Dodgers Prove Money Still Matters in Baseball," 22 Oct. 2018 Trump, however — impervious to certain facts and armed with a Twitter account — has tried hard to convince the public otherwise... Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Saddle up for the midterm stock market slump. It begins now.," 3 Apr. 2018 But loans aren’t impervious to much of the gloom weighing on markets. Sam Goldfarb, WSJ, "Now Loan Investors Are Heading for the Exits," 11 Dec. 2018 Both have nonporous surfaces that are impervious to staining and easy to clean. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "Your Quick and Dirty Guide to Tiling a Kitchen Backsplash," 26 Apr. 2019 Kate isn't just impervious to the effects of alcohol, of course. Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton's Old Friend Reveals What the Duchess Is Like When She's Tipsy," 30 Mar. 2019 In Antonello da Messina’s life-size oil (1478-79), the largely nude saint is impervious to torment and gazes into the heavens, his pious virtue equated with his Apollonian beauty, which was modeled after classical sculpture. Mary Tompkins Lewis, WSJ, "‘The Renaissance Nude’ Review: The Body, Sacred and Sensual," 14 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impervious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of impervious

1640, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for impervious

Latin impervius, from in- + pervius pervious

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Statistics for impervious

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for impervious

The first known use of impervious was in 1640

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More Definitions for impervious



English Language Learners Definition of impervious

technical : not allowing something (such as water or light) to enter or pass through
formal : not bothered or affected by something


im·​per·​vi·​ous | \ im-ˈpər-vē-əs How to pronounce impervious (audio) \

Kids Definition of impervious

1 : not letting something enter or pass through The coat is impervious to rain.
2 : not bothered or affected by something He's impervious to their criticism.


im·​per·​vi·​ous | \ (ˈ)im-ˈpər-vē-əs How to pronounce impervious (audio) \

Medical Definition of impervious

: not allowing entrance or passage medication packaged in a container impervious to air and light

Other Words from impervious

imperviousness noun

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Comments on impervious

What made you want to look up impervious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


characterized by aphorism

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