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 cycling and driving lobbies agree on one thing: although they are sometimes described as temporary, many of the changes to roads will be permanent. The Economist, "The great land grab Walkers and cyclists are using the covid-19 crisis to swipe road space," 23 May 2020 About 2 million of the job losses are likely permanent. Diego Mendoza-moyers,, "San Antonio unemployed workers are slipping through the cracks," 18 May 2020 London is not the first city to use the pandemic to make bold urban changes—many expected to be permanent. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "To aid social distancing—and cut air pollution—London’s mayor declares stretches of the capital will be car-free," 15 May 2020 The big question is how many of these layoffs will be permanent. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "Nearly 3 million U.S. workers filed unemployment claims last week," 14 May 2020 If those companies can't reopen, those layoffs will become permanent. Christopher Rugaber, Anchorage Daily News, "A distinct possibility: ‘Temporary’ layoffs may be permanent," 10 May 2020 Hinduism and Buddhism, for example, adopted a cyclic view of time that suggested the eventual return of the world to its former state; nothing is permanent, and even death is merely a passage to rebirth and renewal. Quanta Magazine, "Arrows of Time," 5 May 2020 Couldn’t prohibiting vehicles on West 25th Street and opening the area to pedestrians, restaurants and other vendors become permanent? Evan Macdonald, cleveland, "Closing streets for outdoor seating could provide a lifeline to Cleveland restaurants struggling in the post-coronavirus city," 2 May 2020 Avoid making changes that are meant to be permanent, as unexpected hassles might snarl plans., "Horoscope," 1 May 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

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Permanent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 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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