\ ˈpərm How to pronounce perm (audio) \

Definition of perm

 (Entry 1 of 2)


permed; perming; perms

Definition of perm (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to give (hair) a permanent wave

Examples of perm in a Sentence

Noun She got a perm last week. Verb She got her hair permed at the salon.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Essentially a perm for your natural lashes, this relatively low-maintenance process lifts and curls lashes long-term. Lindy Segal, Harper's BAZAAR, "What is a Lash Lift? Everything to Know Before Booking," 2 Oct. 2019 Brow lamination, also called brow sculpt or brow lift, is essentially a perm for your eyebrows. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "I Tried Brow Lamination, and I’m Completely Obsessed," 15 Nov. 2019 Damon's first order of business after capturing Shelby onscreen was cutting off his perm. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "Even with a botched perm, Matt Damon shows true grit as Carroll Shelby in 'Ford v Ferrari'," 12 Nov. 2019 Bale and Damon have a slick, easy chemistry, and the hair and makeup department deserves an Oscar nod for Damon’s perm alone. Wired, "Ford v Ferrari Overlooks the Best Part of the Racing Rivalry," 15 Nov. 2019 The Hair Station offers services for men and women, including, but not limited to; shampoo, color, perms, cuts and waxing. Susan Harrison,, "Hair Station owner cuts back but is still styling; last day for Food Truck Fridays in Elkridge this week," 7 Nov. 2019 Temples' strong hair game The British rock group's early evening set felt like a time warp mostly thanks to their '80s style hairdos, with lead singer James Bagshaw sporting a perm and his band mates rocking shaggy looks. Taylor Weatherby, Billboard, "The 9 Best Things We Saw at Voodoo Fest On Day 3," 28 Oct. 2019 Smuggling remains rife on the border, said the local businessman who acted as The Post’s guide in this area, an ebullient Korean-Chinese trader with a spectacular perm and a tendency to talk at 100 mph. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "Chinese traders prepare for rush into North Korea. But sanctions still stand in the way.," 9 Aug. 2019 Services offered include color, cuts, extension, weaves, wigs, crochet, eyelash extensions, keratin treatments, relaxers, perms, makeup, men’s and kid cuts, massage, and more. Quoron Walker,, "TouchByJ Hair by Jeicoby Salon Celebrates Four Years, Expands," 19 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Whitney Eaddy’s was no different as the then 19-year-old had been wearing permed hair since the age of two. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "The Growth Guru Says This Is The Hardest Part Of Growing Your Natural Hair," 3 Oct. 2019 That's why most salons won't perm lightened hair, because it's already damaged from color treatments. Erin Reimel, Glamour, "I Got a Perm (Yes, a Perm) in Search of Perfect Beach Waves," 23 Mar. 2019 The sloped shape of it serves to give your lashes a curved shape to form to when slathered in perming lotion. Sable Yong, Allure, "I Got a Lash Lift — Which Is Basically a Perm For Your Eyelashes," 23 July 2018 In fact, between talking about haircuts and cold waves — a technique being taught to perm hair that uses a cold chemical wash over rollers — many took the opportunity to share their more-pressing concerns with us., "Makeup in Lockup: Beauty, Power, & Danger in Women's Prisons," 2 June 2018 Hair was permed and teased-out, blush was blindingly bright and angled on sharply, eye shadow was contoured, and mascara was coated on with a heavy hand — and all of these together would have constituted a look. Hannah Morrill, Allure, "9 Beauty Looks Inspired by the ‘80s That You’ll Want to Wear Now," 16 Feb. 2018 In 2016, Pantene (owned by P&G) launched Gold Series, a mix of products for natural, permed, and transitioning hair. Jessica Cruel, SELF, "The Beauty Aisle Is Segregated—and I’m OK With That," 2 Feb. 2018 Check all that apply: My hair is dyed, chemically straightened, permed, braided/in locs, has extensions. Dyed. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "The Secret to This Mile-Long Hair Is Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner," 25 Oct. 2017 In the ’90s, Mario Lopez‘s curly permed hair from Saved By The Bell was the height of hair achievement. Kaitlyn Frey,, "Eva Longoria Thinks Mario Lopez's 'Wig Is a Little Too Puffy' - and He Wants You to Weigh In," 13 Oct. 2017

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


1927, in the meaning defined above


1928, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

10 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Perm.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for perm


How to pronounce perm (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of perm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a process in which someone's hair is curled and treated with chemicals so that it remains curly for a long time



English Language Learners Definition of perm (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (hair) curly for a long time by using chemicals : to give a perm to (hair)

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More from Merriam-Webster on perm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with perm

Spanish Central: Translation of perm Encyclopedia article about perm

Comments on perm

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out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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