[ pur-mee-uhnt ]
/ ˈpɜr mi ənt /
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permeating; pervading.



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Origin of permeant

1640–50; <Latin permeant- (stem of permeāns), present participle of permeāre to permeate; see -ant


un·per·me·ant, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does permeant mean?

Permeant describes something, such as a liquid or gas, that has penetrated or has the ability to penetrate something else.

Permeant can be used both in the context of the physical spread of things and in figurative ways, such as to describe a liquid that has thoroughly soaked a material, a smell that has filled up a room, or an idea that has filled someone’s mind.

The adjective permeating means the same thing and is much more commonly used. Permeant is rarely used, and autocorrect might think you mean permanent.

Permeant and permeating comes from the verb permeate, which means to penetrate, pass through, and often become widespread throughout something. Similar words are pervade and saturate.

Permeant should not be confused with permeable, which means capable of being permeated, especially by liquids or gases, as in The permeable surfaces should be sealed to prevent leaks. 

Example: The draw of screen time has become permeant in the lives of children.

Where does permeant come from?

The first records of the word permeant come from the mid-1600s. It comes from the Latin permeāre, meaning “to pass through.” The suffix -ant is used to form adjectives.

If something is described as permeant, it often means that it is capable of passing through some barrier or threshold—physical or otherwise—and then spreading out. In physical contexts, this often involves liquids and gases. It can also be applied to intangible things, like flavors or smells, and abstract things, such as ideas, trends, and aspects of culture. Still, permeant is rarely used. Words like permeating, saturating, and pervading are more commonly used to mean the same thing.

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What are some other forms related to permeant?

  • unpermeant (adjective)
  • permeate (verb)

What are some synonyms for permeant?

What are some words that share a root or word element with permeant


What are some words that often get used in discussing permeant?

What are some words permeant may be commonly confused with?



How is permeant used in real life?

Permeant is rarely used. When it is used, it’s likely to be in a technical context.

Try using permeant!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of permeant?

A. saturating
B. pervading
C. pervasive
D. permissive

See Today's Synonym