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[pur-mee-uh-buh l]
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  1. capable of being permeated.

Origin of permeable

1400–50; late Middle English < Late Latin permeābilis, equivalent to permeā(re) to permeate + -bilis -ble
Related formsper·me·a·ble·ness, nounper·me·a·bly, adverbnon·per·me·a·ble, adjectiveun·per·me·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for unpermeable


  1. capable of being permeated, esp by liquids
Derived Formspermeableness, nounpermeably, 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

Word Origin and History for unpermeable



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

unpermeable in Medicine


  1. 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.

unpermeable in Science


  1. Capable of being passed through or permeated, especially by liquids or gases.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.