not permanent or enduring; transitory.

Origin of impermanent

First recorded in 1645–55; im-2 + permanent
Related formsim·per·ma·nence, im·per·ma·nen·cy, nounim·per·ma·nent·ly, adverb

Synonyms for impermanent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for impermanence

Contemporary Examples of impermanence

Historical Examples of impermanence

  • These added to Ray's feeling of restlessness and impermanence.


    Edna Ferber

  • Addy no longer railed at the impermanence and mutability of things.

    The Creators

    May Sinclair

  • Even then what an intuitive dread had been upon him of the impermanence of things.

    The Shadow of Life

    Anne Douglas Sedgwick

  • Their hands are too short to seize anything tainted with impermanence.

    Letters from a Sf Teacher

    Shaikh Sharfuddn Maner

  • The obsession of impermanence has often been sublimated into great mystic poetry.

    The Poet Li Po

    Arthur Waley

British Dictionary definitions for impermanence



not permanent; fleeting; transitory
Derived Formsimpermanence or impermanency, nounimpermanently, 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

Word Origin and History for impermanence

1796, from impermanent + -ence. Impermanency is from 1640s.



1650s, from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + permanent.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper