per·​me·​able | \ ˈpər-mē-ə-bəl \

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

For storms like Harvey, changes in land use that come with urbanization, such as replacing permeable surfaces like grass with impermeable surfaces like concrete, can cause big changes in water runoff. Kara Dapena, WSJ, "The Rising Costs of Hurricanes," 29 Sep. 2018 The egg and sperm mixture is placed inside an inner chamber made of sterile and gas-permeable materials: medical-grade polystyrene and synthetic rubber latex/thermoplastic elastomer and a silicone o-ring, according to INVOcell’s website. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "These Two Women Both ‘Carried’ Their Baby Using Reciprocal Effortless IVF," 16 Nov. 2018 These permeable, interlocking panels create a shock-absorbing base under turf. Katy Mclaughlin, WSJ, "Wealthy Parents Help Child Athletes Go Pro in Their Own Backyards," 16 Aug. 2018 Under the project, the village will be required to undertake a regular maintenance schedule to ensure optimal functioning of the permeable pavement system. Pioneer Press,, "'Green alley' project: Harwood Heights moves forward on plan designed to prevent storm runoff and flooding," 18 June 2018 The protons flow through an electrolyte and a proton-permeable membrane to the cathode, while the electrons make the journey through a wire. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Ammonia—a renewable fuel made from sun, air, and water—could power the globe without carbon," 12 July 2018 Within the capsule, the bacteria sit in little compartments with only a heme-permeable membrane separating them from the outside. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "This capsule of glowing E. coli will probe your gut for signs of trouble," 25 May 2018 For Alaedini, the beginnings of a mechanism emerged: Some still-unidentified wheat component prompts the intestinal lining to become more permeable. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "What’s really behind ‘gluten sensitivity’?," 23 May 2018 The researchers packaged up these GLP-1-producing stem cells in a permeable capsule, then imbedded the capsule in the body cavities of mice that had diet-induced type 2 diabetes. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Scientists use caffeine to control genes—and treat diabetic mice with coffee," 20 June 2018

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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Last Updated

10 Jan 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

: allowing liquids or gases to pass through


per·​me·​able | \ ˈpər-mē-ə-bəl \

Kids Definition of permeable

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


per·​me·​able | \ ˈpər-mē-ə-bəl \

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).


to gather or build up little by little

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