[pur-mee-uh n]
  1. Geology. noting or pertaining to a period of the Paleozoic Era occurring from about 280 to 230 million years ago and characterized by a profusion of amphibian species.
  1. Geology. the Permian Period or System.
  2. Permic.

Origin of Permian

First recorded in 1835–45; Perm + -ian
Related formspost-Per·mi·an, adjectivepre-Per·mi·an, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for permian

Contemporary Examples of permian

  • I am today in Odessa, Texas, here to speak this afternoon at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

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    Tourist Attractions of West Texas

    David Frum

    November 1, 2012

Historical Examples of permian

British Dictionary definitions for permian


  1. of, denoting, or formed in the last period of the Palaeozoic era, between the Carboniferous and Triassic periods, which lasted for 60 000 000 years
  1. the Permian the Permian period or rock system

Word Origin for Permian

C19: after Perm, Russia
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 permian


1841, "pertaining to the uppermost strata of the Paleozoic era," named by British geologist Sir Roderick Impey Murchison (1792-1871) for the region of Perm in northwestern Russia, where rocks from this epoch are found.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

permian in Science


  1. The seventh and last period of the Paleozoic Era, from about 286 to 245 million years ago. During the Permian Period the supercontinent Pangaea, comprising almost all of today's landmasses, formed. Gymnosperms evolved, the first modern conifers appeared, and reptiles diversified. The Permian Period ended with the largest known mass extinction in the history of life. It wiped out nearly 90 percent of known marine life forms. See Chart at geologic time.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.