\ˈpərm \

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


She got a perm last week.


She got her hair permed at the salon.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Let this set from Korean store W Concept convince you to try the trend, no perm necessary. Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "Would You Wear a Shorts Suit?," 13 July 2018 Having a perm allowed me to go dance, sweat, and not have to get my hair done the next day. Jessica Chia, Allure, "Three Women Open Up About Embracing Their Natural Hair & Leaving Relaxers Behind," 20 June 2018 Emma Stone, actress and wearer of too many amazing hair looks to count, has a perm now. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Emma Stone Gets a Perm With Her Makeup Artist Rachel Goodwin," 1 Feb. 2018 Celebrity Status Hair Salon is a family hair care salon offering barber and beauty services including cuts, color, perms and hair extensions. Paul Gores, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Southridge Mall adding three new businesses in June," 30 May 2018 For me, this meant all out Barbie-style: 1985 perms, Bonnie Bell perfume, and Lip Smackers everywhere. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "12 Women Share the Beauty Secrets Their Mothers Taught Them," 11 May 2018 The 26-year-old actress stepped out in full '90s garb: a short perm, red ruffled blouse, high-waited red pants and pale pink sneakers, according to ET. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Margot Robbie Is Unrecognizable as Tonya Harding on the Set of Her New Movie," 23 Jan. 2017 Shoulder pads, perms and bright, oversize blazers were back in style Saturday at the third annual Like Totally Festival at Huntington State Beach. Daily Pilot Staff,, "Like Totally Festival puts ’80s hits and fashion back in style at Huntington Beach," 13 May 2018 Boost Salon & Spa offers balayage, gloss, highlights, haircuts, blow-dries, perms, manicures, pedicures, consultations and other services. Austen Erblat,, "Boost Salon comes to Woodfield Plaza in West Boca," 9 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 In Nebraska, can a parent without a proper license perm their child’s hair? Carolyn Kellogg,, "Books: Lost in Korean-English translation, another winner from Celeste Ng, science fiction and more," 23 Sep. 2017 In an early opening scene of The Deuce, premiering on HBO Sunday night, C.C. (Gary Carr) a smooth-talking, freshly-permed and curled pinstripe suit spots a fresh-faced white-girl to spit that talk. Stephen A. Crockett, The Root, "From The Wire to The Deuce: David Simon, George Pelecanos and Lawrence Gilliard, Jr. Discuss HBO's Newest Series," 10 Sep. 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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Statistics for perm

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for perm

The first known use of perm was in 1927

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More Definitions for perm



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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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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