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[pur-mee-uh n] /ˈpɜr mi ən/
Geology. noting or pertaining to a period of the Paleozoic Era occurring from about 280 to 230 million years ago and characterized by a profusion of amphibian species.
Geology. the Permian Period or System.
Origin of Permian
First recorded in 1835-45; Perm + -ian
Related forms
post-Permian, adjective
pre-Permian, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Permian
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Historical Examples
  • The reader will begin to think that we have sufficiently "explained" the Permian revolution.

    The Story of Evolution Joseph McCabe
  • In the marls and sandstones of the Permian period there is also much gypsum.

  • It will be most convenient to describe the Permian reptiles along with their descendants of the Mesozoic.

    The Elements of Geology William Harmon Norton
  • Still the Permian has some life features of its own, and we must now turn to these.

  • Other shells now occur, which have not been observed in strata newer than the Permian.

  • The upper series is named the Permian, from the province of Perm in Russia.

    The Elements of Geology William Harmon Norton
  • In the eastern Carpathians also, the Permian and Mesozoic beds are not much folded except near the outer margin of the zone.

  • Proreptilia are represented by the Permian genera Eryops and Cricotus.

    The Last Link Ernst Haeckel
  • Hence, uplift alone cannot account for extensive glaciation in subtropical latitudes during the Permian and Proterozoic.

    Climatic Changes Ellsworth Huntington
British Dictionary definitions for Permian


of, denoting, or formed in the last period of the Palaeozoic era, between the Carboniferous and Triassic periods, which lasted for 60 000 000 years
the Permian, the Permian period or rock system
Word Origin
C19: after Perm, Russia
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 Permian

1841, "pertaining to the uppermost strata of the Paleozoic era," named by British geologist Sir Roderick Impey Murchison (1792-1871) for the region of Perm in northwestern Russia, where rocks from this epoch are found.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Permian in Science
The seventh and last period of the Paleozoic Era, from about 286 to 245 million years ago. During the Permian Period the supercontinent Pangaea, comprising almost all of today's landmasses, formed. Gymnosperms evolved, the first modern conifers appeared, and reptiles diversified. The Permian Period ended with the largest known mass extinction in the history of life. It wiped out nearly 90 percent of known marine life forms. See Chart at geologic time.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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