per·​ma·​nent | \ ˈpər-mə-nənt How to pronounce permanent (audio) , ˈpərm-nənt\

Definition of permanent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : continuing or enduring without fundamental or marked change : stable the museum's permanent art collection an accident causing permanent injury
2a : not easily removed, washed away, or erased : indelible sense 1a permanent stains
b : making marks that cannot easily be removed : indelible sense 1b labeling boxes with permanent markers



Definition of permanent (Entry 2 of 2)

: a long-lasting hair wave produced by mechanical and chemical means

called also permanent wave

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Other Words from permanent


permanently adverb
permanentness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for permanent

Synonyms: Adjective

ceaseless, dateless, deathless, endless, eternal, everlasting, immortal, perpetual, undying, unending

Antonyms: Adjective

impermanent, mortal, temporary, transient

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Choose the Right Synonym for permanent


lasting, permanent, durable, stable mean enduring for so long as to seem fixed or established. lasting implies a capacity to continue indefinitely. a book that left a lasting impression on me permanent adds usually the implication of being designed or planned to stand or continue indefinitely. permanent living arrangements durable implies power to resist destructive agencies. durable fabrics stable implies lastingness because of resistance to being overturned or displaced. a stable government

Examples of permanent in a Sentence


She made a permanent home in this country. Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause permanent skin damage. The museum's permanent collection includes works of art from the 18th century. The transcripts will serve as a permanent record of the proceedings.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Well Foods Chef Justin Sutherland’s food truck hit the streets this spring, coinciding with the opening of St. Paul’s Allianz Field, which has a food truck court where Fare Well is a permanent resident. Jess Fleming, Twin Cities, "6 of our favorite Twin Cities food trucks offer a variety of moveable feasts," 18 July 2019 Investors are pouring money into the new niche, offering developers a revenue stream that, say the startups, supports the growth of condo and apartment buildings for permanent residents, too. Joanne Cleaver,, "Like Airbnb-hotel hybrids, short-term rental startups are setting up shop in Chicago," 15 July 2019 Since then, any permanent resident or citizen of Australia has been able to get the pill, or its generic alternative, by obtaining a prescription from a doctor and purchasing it from a pharmacy. New York Times, "How Australia Could Almost Eradicate H.I.V. Transmissions," 10 July 2019 His administration’s 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act provided amnesty for over 3 million undocumented immigrants – the vast majority of them from Mexico and Central America – letting them become permanent legal residents. Anthony W. Fontes, The Conversation, "The long, bipartisan history of dealing with immigrants harshly," 9 July 2019 Soleimani had reached out to Mahboobe Ghaedi, a permanent US resident from Iran who has worked in stem cell research and regenerative medicine at several American universities, about getting some recombinant proteins, the indictment says. Kat Brumback,, "Iranian scientists accused of violating US sanctions," 7 July 2019 Here are the basics for each: Who's eligible: Citizens and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. Brian Dickerson, Detroit Free Press, "Four ways to expedite travel at home and abroad," 3 July 2019 The driver, a lawful permanent resident from Panama, and the other four passengers were arrested for immigration violations, border officials said. Rocky Baier, azcentral, "9 arrested, 31.4 pounds of meth seized at border checkpoints near Arizona-California border," 27 June 2019 Joseph was born on August 15, 1915, in Jacmel, Haiti, and entered the United States as a permanent resident more than 15 years ago. Brian Ries, CNN, "This 103-year-old woman just became a US citizen," 14 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Turning loanee signings into permanents has been of top priority., "How Jeff Shi and Fosun International Transformed Wolverhampton Wanderers Into a Premier League Side," 12 July 2018 The decision makes permanent an earlier injunction that had temporarily blocked the law. Washington Post, "Judge: Kansas cannot require proof of citizenship to vote," 18 June 2018

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1925, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for permanent


Middle English, from Anglo-French parmanant, from Latin permanent-, permanens, present participle of permanēre to endure, from per- throughout + manēre to remain — more at per-, mansion

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Statistics for permanent

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for permanent

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

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More Definitions for permanent



English Language Learners Definition of permanent

: lasting or continuing for a very long time or forever : not temporary or changing


per·​ma·​nent | \ ˈpər-mə-nənt How to pronounce permanent (audio) \

Kids Definition of permanent

: lasting or meant to last for a long time : not temporary Some permanent changes will be made.

Other Words from permanent

permanently adverb


per·​ma·​nent | \ ˈpərm(-ə)-nənt How to pronounce permanent (audio) \

Medical Definition of permanent

: of, relating to, or being a permanent tooth permanent dentition

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Comments on permanent

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


to complain fretfully

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