Main definitions of perm in English

: perm1perm2

perm1

noun

  • A hairstyle produced by setting the hair in waves or curls and then treating it with chemicals so that the style lasts for several months:

    ‘I had a perm on Friday’
    ‘there are several good home perms available’
    [as modifier] ‘a perm solution’
    • ‘Sure, people still perm their hair, it's just that the style of perm has changed.’
    • ‘The hair was wound on wooden rods with the perm solution and rinsed with rods still in place.’
    • ‘If you frequent pools and are already exposing your hair to chlorine, it would be a good idea to wait until autumn before getting a chemical colour or perm.’
    • ‘If you do your own hair and want to try a new style or temporary perm be sure to experiment before prom.’
    • ‘It's fine to use hair colourants and perm lotions on your hair, although you may find the results are unpredictable.’
    • ‘Next, a neutralizing agent is applied and you have a final rinse, then a shampoo, condition and style; it's a bit like a reverse perm.’
    • ‘Hair perm products use thioglycolic acid - a chemical that reacts with protein bonds in the hair.’
    • ‘And, what about hair coloring and perm solutions?’
    • ‘I got shouted at for chewing gum while handling the perm rods and I never worked there again.’
    • ‘I got a hair cut, and a perm so I looked very cute I must admit!’
    • ‘An intense woman with a tight perm rises to pay her bill and notices an acquaintance sitting alone.’
    • ‘My mother had also given me a perm, so my hair would be easier to work with.’
    • ‘She said this type - a rinse - leaves hair shiny while a permanent color will dull my hair because of the perm.’
    • ‘Also popular were spiral perms and body waves.’
    • ‘Some girls' mothers took them to their salon, others were subjected to the dreaded home perm.’
    • ‘Sporting a bright blond perm and a rather constricted face, she's rather grating and uncomfortable to watch.’
    • ‘What are some good styling options for short relaxed hair as a perm grows out?’
    • ‘Keep in mind that no amount of moisturizing will completely restore perm-damaged hair because your hair's physical structure has been rearranged by the perm solution.’
    • ‘Whoever told me I ought to get a perm was really very wrong indeed.’
    • ‘Her golden-brown hair had a new perm that framed her pretty face perfectly.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Set (the hair) in a perm:

    ‘her hair was permed and then set’
    • ‘My hair salon offers eyelash tinting and perming.’
    • ‘Her hair was permed and styled, tumbling down to her shoulders in perfect ringlets.’
    • ‘Does perming, streaking, highlighting and colouring harm the hair?’
    • ‘Katy had permed dark hair that hung almost to her waist.’
    • ‘Look at all the activities we do to our hair, we cut, shape, curl, perm, color, mousse, and spray it.’
    • ‘Don't bleach, color or perm your hair - this can weaken it.’
    • ‘A generation of survivors, these women had an inner strength often belied by their floral dresses, permed hair, and fresh apple pies.’
    • ‘It also became an offence for women to perm their hair or stretch it.’
    • ‘The hairdressing departments had cubicles so that women were not seen by other customers having their hair set or permed.’
    • ‘Sitting alongside the soldier was a girl whose hair had recently been permed by the local hairdresser.’
    • ‘A woman recently won compensation of 15,000 yuan after losing more than half her hair after it was permed at a local beauty salon.’
    • ‘The setting and tinting, and sometimes perming, make the hair more manageable.’
    • ‘Quickly she put her dark permed hair in a ponytail.’
    • ‘I have never coloured my hair, I have permed it once’
    • ‘Recently her hair had been dyed crimson, permed and braided, and lay in neat disarray about her narrow shoulders.’
    • ‘Chelsea had her permed brown hair pulled back into a low chignon.’
    • ‘They all have their hair nice and permed or coloured.’
    • ‘If your hair has been permed or relaxed, color has to be applied carefully or it can weaken the structure of your hair.’
    • ‘This hair is considered the best as it is most open to coloring, perming, and styling.’
    • ‘I told my hairdresser about it and she told me she'll try perming my hair next so that it'll curl like yours!’
    wavy, curling, curled, crimped, permed, frizzy, frizzed, kinked, kinky, crinkly, fuzzy, corkscrew
    View synonyms

Origin

1920s: abbreviation of permanent.

Pronunciation

perm

/pəːm/

Main definitions of perm in English

: perm1perm2

perm2

noun

British
informal
  • A permutation, especially a selection of a specified number of matches in a football pool:

    ‘a full perm of 8 from 11’
    • ‘The man with the most infamous perm in Scottish football history proved that a goalkeeper from an unfashionable club can step up and do a job for Scotland.’
    • ‘Even the worst footballers' perms of the 1970s could hardly compete.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]British
informal
  • Make a selection of (so many) from a larger number:

    ‘one of the teams was to perm any 11 from 20’
    • ‘There are five of us - from which we perm a team of four.’
    • ‘Yet, it seems that perming any two from the five offers a goals guarantee.’
    • ‘It will probably be a case of perming three strikers from five today.’
    • ‘The Scotland coach has to perm four - three starters and a replacement - from the five potential players.’
    • ‘Typically he perms three from half a dozen men capable of playing in advanced positions.’
    • ‘From these, it would be very hard for the Culture Department (which runs the interviews) to avoid perming some kind of first.’

Origin

1950s: abbreviation of permutation.

Pronunciation

perm

/pəːm/

Main definitions of perm in English

: perm1perm2

Perm

proper noun

  • An industrial city in Russia, in the western foothills of the Ural Mountains; population 987,200 (est. 2008).

    Former name (1940–57) Molotov

Pronunciation

Perm

/pəːm/