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 Campaigners argue the ban should be permanent, but Beijing has tried and failed to enforce similar measures before. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "UN cancels biodiversity meeting in China over coronavirus fears," 6 Feb. 2020 The program was made permanent in 2013, but then halted after the number of Mexican migrants crossing the border illegally plummeted. Daniel Gonzalez, USA TODAY, "ICE has flown more than 450 migrants to the interior of Mexico since December," 31 Jan. 2020 Beijing should make the ban permanent whether or not the Wuhan market turns out to be the source of the current outbreak, and other countries should follow its lead. Christian Walzer And Aili Kang, WSJ, "Abolish Asia’s ‘Wet Markets,’ Where Pandemics Breed," 27 Jan. 2020 Parsons suffered permanent injuries in the crash, including a traumatic brain injury, disc herniation and a torn labrum, according a news release from attorneys John Morgan and Nick Panagakis. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, "Atlanta Hawks forward Chandler Parsons' playing days may be over following car wreck, attorneys say," 20 Jan. 2020 Then in 2013, a new law made that change permanent, requiring counties to transfer those funds to the state each year. Jill Tucker,, "State skims from school funds to pay for trial courts," 20 Jan. 2020 Conversion is not always binary; redemption is not always permanent. Alex Cuadros, Harper's magazine, "“My Gang Is Jesus”," 20 Jan. 2020 On the patio are four aviaries housing pigeons that have recovered and will soon be released at a volunteer’s home an hour outside Las Vegas; pigeons with permanent injuries are taken to a sanctuary in Phoenix. NBC News, "Las Vegas bird rescuer still searching for pigeons wearing cowboy hats," 18 Jan. 2020 Overall, here are the 14 GM facilities across eight states where temps have been or will be made permanent, said a person familiar with the plan. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "GM to shift hundreds more temporary workers to full-time," 15 Jan. 2020 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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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

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Permanent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 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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