impervious

adjective

im·​per·​vi·​ous (ˌ)im-ˈpər-vē-əs How to pronounce impervious (audio)
1
a
: 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
imperviously adverb
imperviousness noun

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
Recent Examples on the Web Of course, some people are impervious to restraint. Matthew Jacobs, Vulture, 10 Jan. 2024 The rain didn’t matter; Evelyn was impervious to it. Tessa Hadley, The New Yorker, 23 June 2024 The Islamic Republic is resilient but not impervious to the social forces at work in Iranian society. Eric Edelman, Foreign Affairs, 2 Jan. 2023 Environmentalists say the Hillcrest amendment inappropriately would allow a higher home-per-acre density, a greater percentage of impervious surface, too little open space and insufficient protection for wetlands and the underlying geology that funnels rain water to the Wekiva’s array of springs. Kevin Spear, Orlando Sentinel, 16 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for impervious 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'impervious.' 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

Latin impervius, from in- + pervius pervious

First Known Use

1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of impervious was in 1615

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Dictionary Entries Near impervious

Cite this Entry

“Impervious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impervious. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

impervious

adjective
im·​per·​vi·​ous (ˈ)im-ˈpər-vē-əs How to pronounce impervious (audio)
1
: not letting something enter or pass through
a coat impervious to rain
2
: not disturbed or upset
impervious to criticism
imperviousness noun

Medical Definition

impervious

adjective
im·​per·​vi·​ous (ˈ)im-ˈpər-vē-əs How to pronounce impervious (audio)
: not allowing entrance or passage
medication packaged in a container impervious to air and light
imperviousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on impervious

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