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 Crews would remove the lanes 120 days after the city lifts its emergency order, unless officials undertake a public process to make a lane permanent. Rachel Swan,, "Muni’s solution for a possible Carmageddon: Emergency transit-only lanes," 27 June 2020 Trump’s orders, which the White House has described as ‘‘a pause,’’ do not apply to immigrants already living and working in the United States nor to permanent residents seeking to become naturalized citizens. Nick Miroff,, "Trump orders limits on foreign workers, extends immigration restrictions," 23 June 2020 Several senators who are up for re-election in November also expressed enthusiasm for taking up immigration, including Sen. John Cornyn, who argued in a floor speech that Congress needed to act and make DACA permanent. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "Donald Trump says he will try again to deport young migrants, despite Supreme Court ruling," 19 June 2020 The laundry list of tax break eliminations and revisions would be attached to House Bill 1035, a measure that passed the House earlier in the session that would make permanent some popular sales tax exemptions, like one on food sold to food banks. James Salzer, ajc, "Georgia senators considering nixing or limiting Delta, yacht, other tax breaks," 16 June 2020 The nonprofit sector argues that the changes will reduce charitable giving and seek to make the deduction permanent. Jay Heflin, Washington Examiner, "Nonprofits seek permanent tax break from pandemic emergency measure," 16 June 2020 Activists also have been pushing for Italy to grant automatic citizenship to those born in Italy to parents who were permanent residents. Fox News, "Statue of Italy journalist defaced amid wave of anti-racist demonstrations across much of Europe," 15 June 2020 Mr Johnson hoped to make the deal permanent by focusing on repairing provincial Britain. The Economist, "Bagehot Johnson and Starmer fight for the working-class vote," 11 June 2020 Public health experts say there is merit to relaxing the rules amid the pandemic, but caution there is no reason to make the changes permanent. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Pharmalittle: Compounders push to make pandemic changes permanent; production concerns seen for Covid-19 monoclonals," 9 June 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

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Permanent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 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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