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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
1605-15; perish + -able
Related forms
perishability, perishableness, noun
perishably, adverb
unperishable, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for perishable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He would rather have any star for his crown of glory than tons of perishable gold.

    Among the Forces Henry White Warren
  • He is chained to the perishable, the eagle gnaws him, he has to suffer.

  • Civil cases are largely personal injury, damage to perishable goods by freezing or rain and loss by fire.

    The Boy with the U. S. Weather Men Francis William Rolt-Wheeler
  • It meant the conquest of the perishable and the awakening of the eternal in the soul.

  • perishable freight had a compartment of its own, also chilled by the plant.

  • Surface corduroy is perishable and can last but a short time.

  • The demons themselves could have no permanent hold on the perishable materials.

    A Strange Story, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • All the works of God are everlasting; the only perishable are some of the works of man.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • Nay, more, inasmuch as souls are of greater value than perishable flesh.

    Moods Louisa May Alcott
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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