per·​mit·​tiv·​i·​ty ˌpər-ˌmi-ˈti-və-tē How to pronounce permittivity (audio)
: 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 prototype was tested using fake blood, the permittivity of which could be easily manipulated for experimental purposes. IEEE Spectrum, 13 July 2023 As the blood flows through the dialysis tubes, the biosensor uses microwaves to analyze the permittivity of the blood, which indicates the blood’s waste and toxin levels. IEEE Spectrum, 13 July 2023 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'permittivity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


permit entry 1 + -ivity (as in selectivity)

First Known Use

1887, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of permittivity was in 1887

Dictionary Entries Near permittivity

Cite this Entry

“Permittivity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on permittivity

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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