Definition of permanent in English:



  • 1Lasting or intended to last or remain unchanged indefinitely.

    ‘a permanent ban on the dumping of radioactive waste at sea’
    ‘damage was not thought to be permanent’
    ‘some temporary workers did not want a permanent job’
    • ‘He added that the town council intended to put up a more permanent sign later.’
    • ‘Part of my job will be to help them find a permanent office, and they have a pretty tight budget.’
    • ‘We decided to buy it as a holiday home but continue to look for a permanent base in the city.’
    • ‘When we say something is a part of our nature, it makes it seem to be a permanent, unchangeable thing.’
    • ‘The berthing piers would remain as a permanent feature of the development of tourism in St Lucia.’
    • ‘I can't decide whether this is a positive or a negative development, or indeed a permanent change.’
    • ‘The project heralds a permanent change in the way bail bandits will be treated, he said.’
    • ‘It would not be a permanent position, and I would expect you to continue searching.’
    • ‘So far the scheme has resulted in 20 people being placed into permanent jobs.’
    • ‘In the longer term, a permanent move to Livingston hasn't been ruled out.’
    • ‘Bulb and perennial combinations can be permanent additions to garden beds and borders.’
    • ‘Many people work through agencies and then apply for permanent jobs.’
    • ‘It remains a permanent monument to the academic aspect of elasticity.’
    • ‘Even without sunburn, intense sunlight causes permanent changes in the skin.’
    • ‘The aim of phase two would be to secure funding and design a permanent sabbatical centre.’
    • ‘She was secure in the knowledge that she had a permanent home there.’
    • ‘With no money, job, or permanent address, the future looked bleak for Lisa and baby Nicole.’
    • ‘Foreign firms are thus strongly advised to establish a permanent base in the region.’
    • ‘This scholarship is being established in her name as a permanent reminder of her work.’
    • ‘It offers a long lasting and, in many cases, permanent cure by treating the disease at its root.’
    lasting, enduring, indefinite, continuing, perpetual, everlasting, eternal, abiding, constant, persistent, irreparable, irreversible, lifelong, indissoluble, indelible, standing, perennial, unending, endless, never-ending, immutable, unchangeable, unalterable, invariable, unchanging, changeless, undying, imperishable, indestructible, ineradicable
    long-term, long-lasting, lasting, stable, fixed, established, sound, secure, solid, firm, continuing, durable
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Lasting or continuing without interruption.
      ‘he's in a permanent state of rage’
      • ‘Was his permanent rage going to be banked by a great outpouring of slavering goodwill?’
      • ‘The advantages of permanent representation abroad included practicality and continuity.’
      • ‘We shall need permanent vigilance and constant efforts to spread democratic involvement.’


North American
  • A perm for the hair.

    ‘a woman with a home permanent’
    • ‘Some of the girls had amateurish home permanents.’
    • ‘That thing scared me off permanents for life.’
    • ‘Next week, we'll discuss how permanents, chemical relaxers, and dyes alter your hair's natural structure.’
    • ‘She produced a copy of his fee schedule for his services which showed he offered a wide range of services from haircuts to more extensive styling and permanents.’
    • ‘Also, hair sprays, hair color, and permanents will not make you lose more hair.’
    • ‘Hairstyling, teasing, coloring, permanents, and the use of hair spray are supported.’
    • ‘Problem-solving perms re-texturize hair, adding body, wave, movement and volume, but to call them permanents is a misnomer.’


Late Middle English: from Latin permanent- remaining to the end (perhaps via Old French), from per- through + manere remain.