[ pur-muh-nuhnt ]
/ ˈpɜr mə nənt /


existing perpetually; everlasting, especially without significant change.
intended to exist or function for a long, indefinite period without regard to unforeseeable conditions: a permanent employee; the permanent headquarters of the United Nations.
long-lasting or nonfading: permanent pleating; permanent ink.


Also called permanent wave. a wave or curl that is set into the hair by the application of a special chemical preparation and that remains for a number of months.

Origin of permanent

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin permanent- (stem of permanēns), present participle of permanēre to remain. See per-, remain, -ent
SYNONYMS FOR permanent
ANTONYMS FOR permanent
Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for nonpermanent (1 of 2)


/ (nɒnˈpɜːmənənt) /


not existing or intended to exist for an indefinite time

British Dictionary definitions for nonpermanent (2 of 2)


/ (ˈpɜːmənənt) /


existing or intended to exist for an indefinite perioda permanent structure
not expected to change for an indefinite time; not temporarya permanent condition
Derived Formspermanently, adverb

Word Origin for permanent

C15: from Latin permanens continuing, from permanēre to stay to the end, from per- through + manēre to remain
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 nonpermanent



early 15c., from Middle French permanent (14c.) or directly from Latin permanentem (nominative permanens) "remaining," present participle of permanere "endure, hold out, continue, stay to the end," from per- "through" (see per) + manere "stay" (see mansion). As a noun meaning "permanent wave," by 1909. Of clothing, permanent press attested from 1964.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper