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[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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for permeable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I haf a rock-crystal lens which is permeable to this light, und which I can place in mine camera.

    The Grain Ship Morgan Robertson
  • The substance of the wall seemed as permeable and yielding as light.

    White Fang Jack London
  • Such shouldst thou still become, thyself all permeable to a holier power!

  • The chain of green bogs is a consequence of the stratum of permeable sand.

  • He found that most of these membranes were permeable to the membranogenous solution.

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

  • The mass was drained, and permeable to a fresh supply of water.

    Farm drainage Henry Flagg French
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
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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
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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.
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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.
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