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

Related Words for impermanent

temporary, ephemeral, evanescent, passing, perishable, transient

Examples from the Web for impermanent

Contemporary Examples of impermanent

Historical Examples of impermanent

  • All conditions are impermanent, and so, in the profounder sense, unreal.

  • In such moments the thoughts that visited her were impermanent and fleeting.

  • The necessity to counteract by impermanent sojourn the permanence of arrest.


    James Joyce

  • Yet the need for religion is impermanent, like all else in life.

    The "Genius"

    Theodore Dreiser

  • Their lives are like their work,—impermanent, detached from others', unobserved.

British Dictionary definitions for impermanent



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 impermanent

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper