impervious

adjective
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

Synonyms

impenetrable, impermeable, tight

Antonyms

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

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 Unlike genetic material, tooth enamel is generally impervious to degradation after death. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 There are stories in the world that will tell you your goal must be to become impervious, immortal, unchanging, and unchanged, and this is a week for resisting those stories. Claire Comstock-gay, The Cut, "Madame Clairevoyant: Horoscopes for the Week of June 18," 18 June 2018 His people are technologically advanced and, living in the ocean’s deepest depths at incredible pressures, are thus also superhumanly strong, durable and nearly as impervious to attack as Superman. WSJ, "Aquaman Haters Miss What Makes the Merman Great," 19 Dec. 2018 In these books, we Americans are portrayed horribly — somehow simultaneously slovenly and uptight, perpetually dressed in spandex yet overweight, arrogant yet superficially friendly, impervious to pleasure and obsessed with mammon. New York Times, "Letter of Recommendation: ‘Live Like a French Woman’ Books," 12 June 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

24 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for impervious

The first known use of impervious was in 1640

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More Definitions for impervious

impervious

adjective

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

impervious

adjective
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.

impervious

adjective
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

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