Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[pur-mee-uh-buh l] /ˈpɜr mi ə bəl/
capable of being permeated.
Origin of permeable
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Late Latin permeābilis, equivalent to permeā(re) to permeate + -bilis -ble
Related forms
permeableness, noun
permeably, adverb
nonpermeable, adjective
unpermeable, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for permeable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The substance of the wall seemed as permeable and yielding as light.

    White Fang Jack London
  • The mass was drained, and permeable to a fresh supply of water.

    Farm drainage Henry Flagg French
  • The chain of green bogs is a consequence of the stratum of permeable sand.

  • The membrane is, however, permeable to the constituents of sea water or to sugar.

  • Rock is permeable by water to a greater extent than is generally supposed.

    Man and Nature George P. Marsh
  • These might all have been covered by the single word “permeable.”

    The Cocoanut William S. Lyon
  • He found that most of these membranes were permeable to the membranogenous solution.

    The Mechanism of Life Stphane Leduc
British Dictionary definitions for permeable


capable of being permeated, esp by liquids
Derived Forms
permeableness, noun
permeably, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin permeābilis, from Latin permeāre to pervade; see permeate
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for permeable

early 15c., from Late Latin permeabilis "that can be passed through, passable," from Latin permeare "to pass through, go over," from per- "through" (see per) + meare "to pass," from PIE root *mei- "to change" (see mutable). Related: Permeably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
permeable in Medicine

permeable per·me·a·ble (pûr'mē-ə-bəl)
That can be permeated or penetrated, especially by liquids or gases.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
permeable in Science
Capable of being passed through or permeated, especially by liquids or gases.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for permeable

Difficulty index for permeable

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for permeable

Scrabble Words With Friends