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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from impervious

imperviously adverb
imperviousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for impervious

Synonyms

Antonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web An old-fashioned rotary phone is impervious to the mischief-making of geckos, to say nothing of butts. Jody Rosen, The New Yorker, "Rudy Giuliani and the Butt-Dialler Within All of Us," 5 Nov. 2019 That Hollis is not impervious to her mother’s pressure — not to mention her community’s and the wider culture’s — is what gives her inner struggle such energy on the page. Scott F. Parker | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "‘This Particular Happiness,’ a memoir about passing up motherhood, is honest, open and compelling," 28 Sep. 2019 Flooding Despite a blatant need for flood mitigation in the region, Fort Bend County has added 53 percent more impervious surfaces- like roads and concrete- that serve as a conduit for flooding, Garvin said. Claire Goodman, Houston Chronicle, "City and county representatives address change in ‘State of the Region’ panel," 20 Dec. 2019 The process transforms the proteins into a mix of hardy polymers that repel water, resist microbes, and are impervious to heat. Gretchen Vogel, Science | AAAS, "Warm-blooded velociraptors? Fossilized proteins unravel dinosaur mysteries," 8 Oct. 2019 But Warren may be tapping into the same discontent with America’s industrial economy that made Franklin Roosevelt impervious to the machinations of the Wall Street Democats of his era. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: The Democrats’ Wall Street wing hates Elizabeth Warren. They hated the New Deal too," 27 Sep. 2019 Both of these sets are impervious to the first four actions of the thief. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘Perfect Randomness’," 27 Sep. 2019 For the past few years the global expansion has seemed all but impervious to political shocks. The Economist, "Buckle up for America’s ugly election and faltering economy," 25 Dec. 2019 Soil bacteria secrete chemicals to inhibit or kill competing bacteria, and this particular strain of Streptomyces happens to mess with several disease-causing pathogens that have become impervious to conventional antibiotics. Smithsonian, "Soil From a Northern Ireland Graveyard May Lead Scientists to a Powerful New Antibiotic," 19 Dec. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of impervious

1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for impervious

Latin impervius, from in- + pervius pervious

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about impervious

Time Traveler for impervious

Time Traveler

The first known use of impervious was in 1615

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about impervious

Statistics for impervious

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Impervious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/imperviousness. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for impervious

impervious

adjective
How to pronounce impervious (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!