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per·​ma·​nent ˈpər-mə-nənt How to pronounce permanent (audio)
: continuing or enduring without fundamental or marked change : stable
the museum's permanent art collection
an accident causing permanent injury
: not easily removed, washed away, or erased : indelible sense 1a
permanent stains
: making marks that cannot easily be removed : indelible sense 1b
labeling boxes with permanent markers
permanentness noun


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

called also permanent wave

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts increased voting accessibility in response to the pandemic and have made some or all of the changes permanent. Cameron Pugh, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 May 2024 Get Hurricane Windows or High-Impact Glass This is the most expensive solution, but also the most permanent one. Sara Kendall, Miami Herald, 15 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for permanent 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'permanent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1925, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near permanent

Cite this Entry

“Permanent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
per·​ma·​nent ˈpərm(-ə)-nənt How to pronounce permanent (audio)
: lasting or intended to last for a very long time : not temporary or changing
permanently adverb
permanentness noun


2 of 2 noun
: a long-lasting hair wave produced by mechanical and chemical means

Medical Definition


per·​ma·​nent ˈpərm(-ə)-nənt How to pronounce permanent (audio)
: of, relating to, or being a permanent tooth
permanent dentition

More from Merriam-Webster on permanent

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