Word of the Day : December 18, 2017


adjective PER-mee-uh-bul


: capable of being permeated : penetrable; especially : having pores or openings that permit liquids or gases to pass through

Did You Know?

The synonyms permeable and pervious both make good use of the Latin prefix per-, meaning "through." Permeable traces back to a combination of per- and the Latin verb meare, meaning "to go" or "to pass," whereas the history of pervious calls upon Latin via, meaning "way." Both permeable and its more common relative, the verb permeate, still retain the original Latin idea of "passing through." Pervious also has the connotation of "penetrating through" but is also used to describe a susceptible mind, as in "Though set in his ways, the professor was pervious to reason." The prefix per- also gave English pervade, meaning "to become diffused throughout every part of." Meare also has other English descendants, including congé, which can mean "a formal permission to depart," and irremeable, meaning "offering no possibility of return."


"More rigid, less permeable foam insulation lines the home's walls to block wind and water from breaching its facade." — Troy McMullen, Forbes, 30 Aug. 2017

"Massachusetts politicians chasing the company will soon realize just how insular and secretive Amazon is. I often compare it to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. They sometimes invite people in—to hire them or pitch them to be customers of collaborators—but the current headquarters in Seattle is not a very permeable place." — Scott Kirsner, The Boston Globe, 29 Oct. 2017

Test Your Vocabulary

Unscramble the letters to create a verb that means "to pass through a permeable substance": NUASDTER.



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