[per-i-shuh-buh l]


subject to decay, ruin, or destruction: perishable fruits and vegetables.


Usually perishables. something perishable, especially food.

Origin of perishable

First recorded in 1605–15; perish + -able
Related formsper·ish·a·bil·i·ty, per·ish·a·ble·ness, nounper·ish·a·bly, adverbun·per·ish·a·ble, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for perishability

Historical Examples of perishability

  • The lady of the flowers had been long dead, and her spirit was still supposed to bear the brand of perishability.

    In the South Seas

    Robert Louis Stevenson

  • The great lack of architectural ruins in the country today may be largely accounted for by its perishability.

British Dictionary definitions for perishability



liable to rot or wither


(often plural) a perishable article, esp food
Derived Formsperishability or perishableness, nounperishably, 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 perishability



late 15c., perysabyl, from Middle French périssable, and later (in modern form), 1610s, directly from perish + -able. As a noun, perishables, in reference to foodstuffs, is attested from 1895.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper