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 The Agholors were among those randomly selected that year to receive permanent resident cards., 11 Sep. 2021 The appeals court now has put that stay back in place as the governor seeks a ruling making his mask-mandate ban permanent. Arkansas Online, 11 Sep. 2021 The New York City Council recently voted to make those caps permanent. Washington Post, 10 Sep. 2021 But while there is a whole universe of consultant expertise that organizations need occasionally, running good meetings is something that should be a permanent capability. Lee Gimpel, Forbes, 10 Sep. 2021 The city council voted in late August to make the limitations permanent. Danielle Wiener-bronner, CNN, 10 Sep. 2021 The increase in revenue will allow the university to move forward with its plan to build a permanent indoor football practice facility and other endeavors. Keith Jenkins, The Enquirer, 10 Sep. 2021 The former has performed best this year at IMS, a permanent road course with virtually zero elevation change and a couple high-speed sections. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 10 Sep. 2021 The companies argue in their lawsuit that New York has continually pushed back the expiration date of the law and that now there’s no date at all, therefore making the law permanent., 10 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun If hotness is an effort to make the ephemeral permanent, then illness is a constant reminder of how nothing is forever. Michelle Santiago Cortés,, 26 June 2021 The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is working on making three Slow Streets closed to through traffic during the pandemic permanent: Page, Shotwell and Sanchez streets. Mallory Moench, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Feb. 2021 The salon’s services include coloring, permanents, hairstyling, highlights and shampoos. Vincent T. Davis,, 22 Mar. 2020 Turning loanee signings into permanents has been of top priority., 12 July 2018 The decision makes permanent an earlier injunction that had temporarily blocked the law. Washington Post, 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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Dictionary Entries Near permanent



permanent assets

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Statistics for permanent

Last Updated

13 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Permanent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for permanent



English Language Learners Definition of permanent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



English Language Learners Definition of permanent (Entry 2 of 2)


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

More from Merriam-Webster on permanent

Nglish: Translation of permanent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of permanent for Arabic Speakers


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