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

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 Trump’s approval rating hovers in the low 40s: lower than the average of any other president, yes, but seemingly impervious to an onslaught of scandals that would have sunk any other president, and within spitting range of reelectability. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Corruption, Not Russia, Is Trump’s Greatest Political Liability," 1 Apr. 2018 In addition to making your hair crazy smooth, the spray also works as a heat protectant and to keep your hair impervious to the effects of humidity. Jihan Forbes, Allure, "The IGK Good Behavior Smoothing Spray Is Like a Keratin Treatment in a Bottle," 28 July 2018 The resulting irony was a system that ostensibly was highly regulated, but which was devoid of transparency, without risk or performance guidelines and impervious to developing problems. WSJ, "China’s Market Meddling Will End Like Japan’s," 26 Dec. 2018 From President Harding’s Teapot Dome scandal -- named for a Wyoming rock formation atop a misused government oil reserve -- through the Clinton impeachment, stocks have proved remarkably impervious to news that has roiled the political world... James Freeman, WSJ, "Post-Trump Slump?," 24 Aug. 2018 After being mostly impervious this year to jitters over a trade war, technology stocks have recently also been hit. Gunjan Banerji, WSJ, "Investors Seek Protection From Market’s Biggest Winners," 2 July 2018 But real-estate development contributes to the problem because impervious surfaces, such as driveways and rooftops, replace the grasses and vegetation that naturally filter out waste swept up in storm water. Lara Korte, WSJ, "Developers Go With the Flow as New Water Rules Kick In," 10 July 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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Last Updated

15 Mar 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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