To permeate something is to spread all the way through it. (If rainwater permeates your socks, that feels gross. And if cell phones have permeated the local middle school, they are absolutely everywhere inside that school.)
So, something permeable lets things enter it and spread all through it. (Examples: An Oreo cookie is permeable to milk, yum. A young child's mind is permeable to new ideas.)
And something impermeable doesn't let things enter it and doesn't let things spread all through it. (Example: Being that they're all crotchety and set in their ways, their minds are impermeable to new ideas.)
im PER me uh bull
Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “an impermeable material.”
2. After a linking verb, as in "The material was impermeable.”)
How to use it:
Talk about an impermeable area, like an impermeable forest (one that's so dense that you can't walk through it) or an impermeable hallway (one that's so full of piles of things that you can't get across it.)
You can also have an impermeable surface or material, like the impermeable caulk that protects the walls and floors near your tub and doesn't let water seep in.
Figuratively, talk about impermeable minds, an impermeable clique, someone's impermeable confidence, an impermeable argument, etc.
Often you'll say one thing is impermeable to the other thing that can't come in: "the fort is impermeable to attacks," "a resolve that's impermeable to doubts," "her rigid habits are impermeable to suggestions," "his ego is impermeable to criticism."
With the professor's scribbled comment starting with "Okay, but what if...?", a big hole was poked into what I'd thought was an impermeable argument.
He's deaf to criticisms, ignorant of the damage he's already done, and impermeable even to the most reasoned of pleas.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You'll know you understand what "impermeable" means when you can explain it without saying "not porous" or "impassable."
Think of a group, an institution, a hobby, or a career that seems really closed off and hard to get into, and fill in the blanks: "I (still have / once had) the impression that _____ (is / was) impermeable."
Example: "I once had the impression that the world of publishing was impermeable to regular people. But now you can publish absolutely anything, straight to Amazon."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
Last month, we played with song lyrics that included words featured in issues of Make Your Point. I gave you a few lines from the song, with a blank where our word appears, along with its definition, and you came up with the word to complete the line.
Yesterday's lyrics: Artist: The Decembrists Title: The Legionnaire's Lament Lyrics: I am on reprieve
Lacking my ____________
Missing my gay Paris
In this desert dry Definition: joy of being alive
Answer: joie de vivre
And now, a new game for March!
This month, challenge your powers of memory and recall (or just get ready to reign supreme on Wheel of Fortune) as we play with two-word phrases that you’ll find in a dictionary. We’ll start off with easy tasks and advance to harder ones as the month goes on. See the right answer to each question the following day. You might even see a new phrase that inspires your curiosity and makes you look it up. Have fun! (Note: Every dictionary recognizes a different set of two-word phrases. I used the OED to make these game questions.)
Try this one today:
What one word fits into every phrase below? It has three letters:
A Point Well Made:
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus: “The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.”
1. One opposite of IMPERMEABLE is
2. Time and change are slowly _____ our once-impermeable _____.
A. strengthening .. habits
B. chipping away at .. traditions
C. arming .. mindsets
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Sometimes when you're searching for the perfect word, a privative prefix like im- can really help. (Privative prefixes take away the meaning of the base word, like you see in "unhappy," "disregard," and "imperfect.")
Say you're trying to think of a word that means "really protected, closed off, and safe from things that try to get in." You could pick "thick-skinned" or "fortified," but the word that really works perfectly means "NOT letting anything in:" impermeable.
Could you recall these other words with privative prefixes? They're the ideal words for talking about...