per·​mit·​tiv·​i·​ty | \ ˌpər-ˌmi-ˈti-və-tē How to pronounce permittivity (audio) , -mə- \

Definition of permittivity

: the ability of a material to store electrical potential energy under the influence of an electric field measured by the ratio of the capacitance of a capacitor with the material as dielectric to its capacitance with vacuum as dielectric

called also dielectric constant

Examples of permittivity in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The fine structure constant is a combination of four other fundamental constants: the speed of light, the charge on the electron, Planck’s constant, and the permittivity of free space. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, 28 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'permittivity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of permittivity

1887, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for permittivity

permit entry 1 + -ivity (as in selectivity)

Learn More About permittivity

Time Traveler for permittivity

Time Traveler

The first known use of permittivity was in 1887

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near permittivity

permitted explosive



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for permittivity

Cite this Entry

“Permittivity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on permittivity Encyclopedia article about permittivity


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!