per·​me·​able | \ ˈpər-mē-ə-bəl How to pronounce permeable (audio) \

Definition of permeable

: capable of being permeated : penetrable especially : having pores or openings that permit liquids or gases to pass through a permeable membrane permeable limestone

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Examples of permeable in a Sentence

The cell has a permeable membrane. a permeable fabric that allows your body heat to escape will be much more comfortable in the summertime

Recent Examples on the Web

Donnelly was a master at quietly cultivating a network, one that straddled the permeable line between government and industry. James Bandler, ProPublica, "How Amazon and Silicon Valley Seduced the Pentagon," 22 Aug. 2019 According to the State of Kansas, this month, twenty years after Thayer purchased A.C.P., a permeable barrier will finally be installed to insure that no additional TCE flows from the site into the water supply. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of Trump," 19 Aug. 2019 With skin as permeable as a sponge, the frog is also highly susceptible to a skin fungus linked to amphibians vanishing around the world. Los Angeles Times, "Meet the ‘rock star’ frog breeder vying to save Southern California’s rarest amphibian," 15 Aug. 2019 Metro areas can reduce these types of pollution by updating aging water infrastructure and designing with more forgiving surfaces—such as permeable pavements, rooftop gardens and green spaces—that can cut down on runoff pollution, Rumpler says. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Your Summer Beach Trip Could Put You at Risk of Getting Sick. Here's What You Need to Know," 24 July 2019 In such a crisis, the boundaries of identity become more permeable and the sense of self expands. Caitlin Dwyer, Longreads, "Shared Breath," 25 July 2019 And there are trade-offs: permeable road surfaces require more maintenance, for example; reflective roofs might increase energy demand at colder times of the year. The Economist, "Heatwaves like that being experienced in America are more dangerous in cities," 21 July 2019 Cool/permeable pavements, a relatively new concept, could help reduce surface temperatures. Pamela Falk, CBS News, "Brace for more killer heat waves, Red Cross warns," 16 July 2019 In addition to supporting a rapidly growing population, Chennai has become increasingly urbanized, depleting options for obtaining groundwater via permeable surfaces. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Satellite Images Reveal the Extent of Chennai’s Water Shortage," 5 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'permeable.' 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 permeable

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for permeable

Last Updated

5 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for permeable

The first known use of permeable was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for permeable



English Language Learners Definition of permeable

technical : allowing liquids or gases to pass through


per·​me·​able | \ ˈpər-mē-ə-bəl How to pronounce permeable (audio) \

Kids Definition of permeable

: having pores or openings that let liquids or gases pass through


per·​me·​able | \ ˈpər-mē-ə-bəl How to pronounce permeable (audio) \

Medical Definition of permeable

: capable of being permeated especially : having pores or openings that permit liquids or gases to pass through a permeable membrane

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Comments on permeable

What made you want to look up permeable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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