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[per-i-shuh-buh l] /ˈpɛr ɪ ʃə bəl/
subject to decay, ruin, or destruction:
perishable fruits and vegetables.
Usually, perishables. something perishable, especially food.
Origin of perishable
First recorded in 1605-15; perish + -able
Related forms
perishability, perishableness, noun
perishably, adverb
unperishable, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for perishable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • All the works of God are everlasting; the only perishable are some of the works of man.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • With crops which are perishable or bulky, "processing" must be performed locally.

    The Farmer and His Community Dwight Sanderson
  • The defacing finger of Time is visible on all perishable articles.

    Aztec Land Maturin M. Ballou
  • perishable freight and time freight were diverted to other lines.

    Whispering Smith Frank H. Spearman
  • But they are gone, and even the perishable labors of their lives outlive them.

    The Nrnberg Stove Louisa de la Ram (AKA Ouida)
  • It seems to me that objects of that description are a trifle too perishable.

    Paul Patoff

    F. Marion Crawford
  • But some of these ornaments are perishable, and can but delight us for awhile.

  • It is only the most priceless and most perishable treasure in God's storehouse.

  • Its fate is decided according as it leans to the spiritual or the perishable.

British Dictionary definitions for perishable


liable to rot or wither
(often pl) a perishable article, esp food
Derived Forms
perishability, perishableness, noun
perishably, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for perishable

late 15c., perysabyl, from Middle French périssable, and later (in modern form), 1610s, directly from perish + -able. As a noun, perishables, in reference to foodstuffs, is attested from 1895.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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