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


permanentness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for permanent

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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

Adjective 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 If the service cuts are permanent — and that appears likely — Del Rio would join other smaller communities such as Williamsport, Pa.; Roswell, N.M.; and Florence, S.C.; in losing its only air service. Randy Diamond,, "Del Rio worried about air service loss," 21 Sep. 2020 King believes the loss of some businesses will be permanent. al, "Losses felt in Alabama as Black-owned businesses hit hard by pandemic," 18 Sep. 2020 Coaches said the position change would not be permanent, that Dickey could also learn the quarterback position as a flanker. Jonas Shaffer,, "'He would’ve been a star’: 50 years before Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, there was Eldridge Dickey," 17 Sep. 2020 Church lawyers also assert that their clients’ ability to cover current liabilities isn’t necessarily permanent. Ramon Antonio Vargas | Staff Writer,, "People claiming to be victims of New Orleans clergy sex abuse must come forward by March 1: judge," 17 Sep. 2020 The vote in the November general election on whether to make permanent a state half-cent sales tax dedicated to roads will be critical to the project, said Philip Taldo, a state highway commissioner and airport board member. Ron Wood, Arkansas Online, "XNA officials hoping for a new road, cargo carriers by 2025," 17 Sep. 2020 That's especially important as the pandemic wears on into the school year, and the reality sets in that employees will be dealing with these issues for a while yet—and that some of the changes may be permanent. Jen Wieczner, Fortune, "‘Integrators’ and ‘separators’: How managers are helping the two types of remote workers survive the pandemic," 16 Sep. 2020 Nearly 100,000 of them are permanent, Yelp reported Wednesday. Jay Heflin, Washington Examiner, "Yelp: 60% of business closures since March are permanent," 16 Sep. 2020 While Swift's placement on this list is temporary, Johnson's could be permanent. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Deciphering future of Detroit Lions RBs Adrian Peterson, D'Andre Swift, Kerryon Johnson," 15 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The salon’s services include coloring, permanents, hairstyling, highlights and shampoos. Vincent T. Davis,, "San Antonio neighborhood salon offers more than hairstyles," 22 Mar. 2020 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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Time Traveler for permanent

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for permanent

Last Updated

24 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Permanent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for permanent


How to pronounce permanent (audio)

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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