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

Other Words from impervious

imperviously adverb
imperviousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for impervious



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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 Scientists don’t know why some people might be impervious to the coronavirus, but Nuzzo said one hypothesis could be that some individuals have fewer receptors in their noses, throats and lungs for the virus to bind to. Katie Shepherd And Joe Heim, Anchorage Daily News, 9 May 2022 Djikine wasn’t impervious to the belief that the foods of his childhood would fail to attract Parisian diners of European descent. Vivian Song, Robb Report, 24 Apr. 2022 Schott is not impervious to the challenges of her job. Washington Post, 18 Apr. 2022 Despite being known as the Windy City, Chicago has developed a false reputation as being impervious to tornadoes. Kori Rumore, Chicago Tribune, 21 Apr. 2022 In addition to being capable of things on a basketball court that no one else has ever done, Stephen Curry is impervious to what-ifs. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 Apr. 2022 Trump and his cronies are, as ever, impervious to punishment for wrongdoing. Joel Mathis, The Week, 29 Mar. 2022 While prosecutors are supposed to be impervious to outside influences, the reality is that prosecutors also do not operate in a vacuum and are aware of public and political sentiment. Chris Cillizza, CNN, 7 Mar. 2022 In urban landscapes, water runs from impervious surfaces such as concrete and asphalt streets and into drainage systems that lead directly to waterways such as creeks, rivers and lakes. al, 22 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of impervious

1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for impervious

Latin impervius, from in- + pervius pervious

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Time Traveler for impervious

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The first known use of impervious was in 1615

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Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Impervious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for impervious


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 They all started telling stories, then, of how fine and wonderful a thing it was to be a ghoul … Impervious to disease or illness, said one of them.— Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book


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

More from Merriam-Webster on impervious

Nglish: Translation of impervious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of impervious for Arabic Speakers


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