\ 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 Guests can even check out the actual hair pick Ross used to fluff his perm on the show. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "The New Bob Ross Experience Lets Fans Explore His Studio and Browse His Art Supplies," 4 Nov. 2020 The idea of such a wine smacks of ’80s-era excess, the vinous equivalent of a perm and glittery shoulder pads. Esther Mobley,, "In defense of buttery Chardonnay," 30 Apr. 2020 Van Ness uses them to smooth hair down or to hold a perm or curl while hair finishes setting. Susan Brickell,, "The One Skincare Product Jonathan Van Ness Always Recommends to Everyone," 12 May 2020 And the various hair mishaps (including one poodle perm) that Nora undergoes feel like a love letter by a creative team that knows all the ways Asian hairstyles and treatments can go wrong. Inkoo Kang, The Hollywood Reporter, "Critic's Notebook: 'Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens' and the Freshness of Angst-Free Asian Americans," 26 Feb. 2020 Anagnoustopolous' business plan, according to village documents, supports a full-service barbershop that will provide clipper and razor cuts, beard shaping, nose and ear wax, scalp treatment, perms, colors, highlighting and eyebrow waxing. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "After Sussex's Amy B & Co. Salon and Spa closes, three of its employees will open their own," 26 Feb. 2020 This graphic novel gives a glimpse into black hair salon culture through this coming-of-age story about a girl’s first perm. NBC News, "40 best African American and black books, according to the NAACP," 20 Feb. 2020 Well, my mom had a really great '80s perm of different types. Michelle Lee, Allure, "The Allure Podcast: Gemma Chan on Aging, Self-Acceptance, and Being a Kid of the '90s," 11 Nov. 2019 Her medium-length black wig is styled into an ’80s power perm. Morelli Brothers; Fashion Editor: Joanna Hillman, Harper's BAZAAR, "The New Dynasties," 19 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb At one point, Shelton asked a friend to perm his long hair, according to the article. Madeline Buckley,, "Founder of Medusa’s, legendary all-ages Chicago nightclub, has died: He ‘allowed people to be themselves ... without judgment'," 8 Aug. 2020 Camila Cabello's long, beachy curls and a piece-y curtain fringe have become her signature look since perming her naturally-straight hair. Megan Decker,, "Camila Cabello Just Debuted A Chic Bob Haircut," 5 Feb. 2020 By the end of the week, residents in Georgia will be able to get their hair permed and nails done. Anchorage Daily News, "States rushing to reopen are probably making a deadly error, experts warn," 23 Apr. 2020 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

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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Cite this Entry

“Perm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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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)

More from Merriam-Webster on perm

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for perm Encyclopedia article about perm

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