per·​ma·​frost | \ ˈpər-mə-ˌfrȯst How to pronounce permafrost (audio) \

Definition of permafrost

: a permanently frozen layer at variable depth below the surface in frigid regions of a planet (such as earth)

Examples of permafrost in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The creature, which scientists estimate to be 30,000 or 40,000 years old, was preserved in permafrost, the Siberian Times reported. Marisa Iati, Anchorage Daily News, "Severed head of prehistoric wolf found in Siberia, perfectly preserved," 12 June 2019 Still, there are stalks popping through the permafrost. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Women’s soccer’s journey from promise of 1999 to reality of 2019," 11 June 2019 Between 1984 and 2013, the number of thaw slumps recorded in a 27,000-square-mile area of Arctic permafrost increased from 63 to 4,077. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's magazine, "Findings," 10 June 2019 Thawing permafrost is shifting the ground beneath his feet. Julia Rosen,, "Is it our constitutional right to live in a world safe from climate change?," 3 June 2019 Like many aspects of climate change, melting permafrost would know no borders. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Melting Permafrost Poses a Huge Danger to Artic Infrastructure," 11 Dec. 2018 Worse, melting permafrost contributes to global warming itself. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Melting Permafrost Poses a Huge Danger to Artic Infrastructure," 11 Dec. 2018 Warmer summers have also meant that diseases, long locked in the Arctic permafrost, may thaw and spread among herds, though scientists aren’t completely sure how much of an impact this is having. Brian Resnick, Vox, "The Arctic has lost 2.6 million reindeer over the past 20 years," 11 Dec. 2018 An example would be the thawing of large areas of permafrost, which could release the carbon stored in them. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Researchers suggest we could tip into a hothouse Earth—here’s what that means," 10 Aug. 2018

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

1943, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for permafrost

permanent + frost

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about permafrost

Dictionary Entries near permafrost








Statistics for permafrost

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for permafrost

The first known use of permafrost was in 1943

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for permafrost



English Language Learners Definition of permafrost

technical : a layer of soil that is always frozen in very cold regions of the world

More from Merriam-Webster on permafrost

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with permafrost Encyclopedia article about permafrost

Comments on permafrost

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


to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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