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[pur-mee-uh-buh l] /ˈpɜr mi ə bəl/
capable of being permeated.
Origin of permeable
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Late Latin permeābilis, equivalent to permeā(re) to permeate + -bilis -ble
Related forms
permeableness, noun
permeably, adverb
nonpermeable, adjective
unpermeable, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for permeable
  • Porous materials are, probably, just more permeable.
  • Yet the line is certainly permeable.
  • They may include planting trees in a parking lot or paving with permeable materials to minimize heat and storm-water runoff.
  • But to get the heat out you have to make them permeable.
  • The sheets create a permeable surface of nano-sized pores.
  • Even using a bucket to catch the dirtied water and then releasing it over a naturally permeable surface for filtration can help.
  • Perhaps this is the first bridge ever built to be selectively permeable.
  • The boundaries of individuals and communities will grow more permeable.
  • The blood brain barrier becomes more permeable during inflammation.
  • Inside, a liquid electrolyte bathes sheetlike positive and negative electrodes, which are separated by a permeable membrane.
British Dictionary definitions for permeable


capable of being permeated, esp by liquids
Derived Forms
permeableness, noun
permeably, adverb
Word Origin
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
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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
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permeable in Medicine

permeable per·me·a·ble (pûr'mē-ə-bəl)
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.
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permeable in Science
Capable of being passed through or permeated, especially by liquids or gases.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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