per·​ish·​able | \ˈper-i-shə-bəl, ˈpe-ri-\

Definition of perishable 

: liable to perish : liable to spoil or decay such perishable products as fruit, vegetables, butter, and eggs

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Other Words from perishable

perishability \ ˌper-​i-​shə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē , ˌpe-​ri-​ \ noun
perishable noun

Examples of perishable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

To me, this is a vestige of slavery when black bodies were bought, sold and traded like perishable goods., "We should think deeply about the Alison Ettel viral video — and why it matters," 28 June 2018 Unlike containers, lorries cannot be stacked, and many carry livestock or perishable goods that need to get to their destination as soon as possible. Georgina Voss, The Atlantic, "Brexit Could Cripple Britain’s Ports," 20 June 2018 Emergency sales are usually reserved for perishable goods, such as food, or items that typically depreciate in value, such as cars. David Meyer, Fortune, "An 'Emergency Sale' of Bitcoins Just Earned $14 Million for German Law Enforcement," 29 May 2018 For standardized, non-perishable goods, there may be little reason for customers to set foot in a store at all. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Self-driving technology is going to change a lot more than cars," 29 May 2018 The Porter County Community Foundation has already committed to replacing the freezers and refrigerators so the pantry will again be able to offer perishable goods, something that hasn’t been available in its temporary location, Wright said. Amy Lavalley, Post-Tribune, "Valparaiso food pantry plans to reopen after flooding: 'It's the house that love built'," 23 Apr. 2018 One way to reduce food waste is to buy fewer perishable goods and choose canned or packaged foods that have a longer shelf life. Karen Kaplan, Anchorage Daily News, "The food that goes bad in your fridge amounts to trillions of gallons of wasted water," 19 Apr. 2018 The idea of slowing vessels down draws ire from countries that export perishable goods, like cherries and grapes, as Chile does. The Economist, "The shipping industry attempts to cap carbon emissions," 14 Apr. 2018 Tickets are what economists call a wholly perishable good. Chris Jones,, "For the first time, the Cubs are offering a cheap-seat lottery at Wrigley. It’s a smokescreen.," 5 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perishable.' 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 perishable

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

26 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for perishable

The first known use of perishable was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for perishable



English Language Learners Definition of perishable

: likely to spoil or decay quickly : not likely to stay fresh for a long time if not eaten or used


per·​ish·​able | \ˈper-i-shə-bəl \

Kids Definition of perishable

: likely to spoil or decay Remember to refrigerate perishable foods.

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More from Merriam-Webster on perishable

Spanish Central: Translation of perishable

Nglish: Translation of perishable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of perishable for Arabic Speakers

Comments on perishable

What made you want to look up perishable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

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