per·​ma·​nent | \ ˈpər-mə-nənt How to pronounce permanent (audio) , ˈpərm-nənt \

Essential Meaning of permanent

: lasting or continuing for a very long time or forever : not temporary or changing She made a permanent home in this country. Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause permanent skin damage. See More ExamplesThe museum's permanent collection includes works of art from the 18th century. The transcripts will serve as a permanent record of the proceedings.Hide

Full Definition of permanent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : continuing or enduring without fundamental or marked change : stable the museum's permanent art collection an accident causing permanent injury
2a : not easily removed, washed away, or erased : indelible sense 1a permanent stains
b : making marks that cannot easily be removed : indelible sense 1b labeling boxes with permanent markers



Definition of permanent (Entry 2 of 2)

: a long-lasting hair wave produced by mechanical and chemical means

called also permanent wave

Other Words from permanent


permanentness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for permanent

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for permanent


lasting, permanent, durable, stable mean enduring for so long as to seem fixed or established. lasting implies a capacity to continue indefinitely. a book that left a lasting impression on me permanent adds usually the implication of being designed or planned to stand or continue indefinitely. permanent living arrangements durable implies power to resist destructive agencies. durable fabrics stable implies lastingness because of resistance to being overturned or displaced. a stable government

Examples of permanent in a Sentence

Adjective She made a permanent home in this country. Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause permanent skin damage. The museum's permanent collection includes works of art from the 18th century. The transcripts will serve as a permanent record of the proceedings.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Nothing is permanent, not even a painting on the bookshelf that becomes a minor fixation. Michele Filgate, Los Angeles Times, 30 Nov. 2021 But the broadcasting of live audio is not yet guaranteed to be permanent. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 24 Nov. 2021 The fat that takes is permanent, as long as a relatively consistent weight is maintained. Kaitlin Clark, Allure, 24 Nov. 2021 But the good news is that the lack of belonging that many girls feel in certain STEM feels is not permanent. Allison Master, The Conversation, 24 Nov. 2021 Now, the holiday closure will be permanent, the Associated Press reports. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, 22 Nov. 2021 That includes tax credits for children that Democrats extended for just one year, making their price tags appear lower, even though the party would like those programs to be permanent. The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 Nov. 2021 The bill’s tax increases are permanent, while many of its tax cuts and spending programs are set to be temporary, a move that Republicans have criticized as a budget gimmick intended to keep the overall cost down. New York Times, 18 Nov. 2021 While inflation should moderate as the supply chain disruptions ease, October CPI added fuel to the fire of worries that the rise in prices will be more permanent. Bill Stone, Forbes, 14 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun If hotness is an effort to make the ephemeral permanent, then illness is a constant reminder of how nothing is forever. Michelle Santiago Cortés,, 26 June 2021 The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is working on making three Slow Streets closed to through traffic during the pandemic permanent: Page, Shotwell and Sanchez streets. Mallory Moench, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Feb. 2021 The salon’s services include coloring, permanents, hairstyling, highlights and shampoos. Vincent T. Davis,, 22 Mar. 2020 Turning loanee signings into permanents has been of top priority., 12 July 2018 The decision makes permanent an earlier injunction that had temporarily blocked the law. Washington Post, 18 June 2018

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1925, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for permanent


Middle English, from Anglo-French parmanant, from Latin permanent-, permanens, present participle of permanēre to endure, from per- throughout + manēre to remain — more at per-, mansion

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Time Traveler for permanent

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near permanent



permanent assets

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Statistics for permanent

Last Updated

6 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Permanent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for permanent


per·​ma·​nent | \ ˈpər-mə-nənt How to pronounce permanent (audio) \

Kids Definition of permanent

: lasting or meant to last for a long time : not temporary Some permanent changes will be made.

Other Words from permanent

permanently adverb


per·​ma·​nent | \ ˈpərm(-ə)-nənt How to pronounce permanent (audio) \

Medical Definition of permanent

: of, relating to, or being a permanent tooth permanent dentition

More from Merriam-Webster on permanent

Nglish: Translation of permanent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of permanent for Arabic Speakers


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