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[pawr-uh s, pohr-] /ˈpɔr əs, ˈpoʊr-/
full of pores.
permeable by water, air, etc.
Origin of porous
1350-1400; Middle English, variant of porose < Medieval Latin porōsus. See pore2, -ous
Related forms
porously, adverb
porousness, noun
nonporous, adjective
nonporousness, noun
unporous, adjective
unporousness, noun
2. penetrable, pervious, sievelike, riddled. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for porous
  • Don't even try to close the holes in a country, and a society, designed to be porous.
  • Many parts of the ecoregion have such porous soil that rainfall passes right through.
  • Compost requires oxygen to decompose, so you need some kind of open, porous container.
  • On another note, she climbed under or over my porous fence twice today, the first time in several months.
  • But it is a porous protector, allowing some substances in and others—most notably moisture—out.
  • They occur too quickly and our borders are too porous.
  • Its pottery and its water-cooling jars made of porous stone are famous.
  • Igneous rocks are not porous, meaning that it's nearly impossible for anything to find its way inside.
  • But the boundaries between the two jobs can get pretty porous.
  • The black earth crumbles easily, revealing a porous structure and an abundance of organic matter that facilitate root growth.
British Dictionary definitions for porous


permeable to water, air, or other fluids
(biology, geology) having pores; poriferous
easy to cross or penetrate: the porous border into Thailand, the most porous defence in the league
Derived Forms
porously, adverb
porousness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin porōsus, from Late Latin poruspore²
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 porous

late 14c., "full of pores," from Old French poros (14c., Modern French poreux), from Medieval Latin porosus; or directly from Latin porus "an opening" (see pore (n.)). Figurative use from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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porous in Medicine

porous po·rous (pôr'əs)

  1. Full of or having pores.

  2. Admitting the passage of gas or liquid through pores.

po'rous·ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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porous in Science
Having many pores or other small spaces that can hold a gas or liquid or allow it to pass through.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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