[pur-mee-uh-buh l]


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

Examples from the Web for permeable

Contemporary Examples of permeable

Historical Examples of permeable

  • The substance of the wall seemed as permeable and yielding as light.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • The mass was drained, and permeable to a fresh supply of water.

    Farm drainage

    Henry Flagg French

  • The chain of green bogs is a consequence of the stratum of permeable sand.

  • The membrane is, however, permeable to the constituents of sea water or to sugar.

  • Rock is permeable by water to a greater extent than is generally supposed.

    Man and Nature

    George P. Marsh

British Dictionary definitions for permeable



capable of being permeated, esp by liquids
Derived Formspermeableness, nounpermeably, adverb

Word Origin for permeable

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 permeable

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

Medicine definitions for permeable




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.

Science definitions for permeable



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.