Printable Version
Pronunciation: pêr-dyur-ê-bêl Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Extremely durable, enduring continuously over a lifetime or the course of human history. 2. Permanent, imperishable, lasting forever.

Notes: Things that are durable may, at some point, wear out or break down. Not so if they are perdurable. Today's word indicates a state beyond durability, historical durability. It comes from the verb perdure accompanied by a noun, perdurability and an adverb, perdurably.

In Play: Today's word implies more than just durability; it suggests permanence: "The official flag of the United States is the perdurable 'Stars and Stripes', updated, of course, from time to time." It applies to many things outside the head, but also the things inside it: "You can't argue with Noam Knott; he has made up his mind about everything, and his decisions are perdurable."

Word History: Today's Good Word was borrowed by Middle English from Old French, which inherited it from Late Latin perdurabilis. This adjective was built from perdurare "to endure", comprising per- "complete, very" + durare "to last". Latin inherited its verb from PIE deu- "long (in duration)", which also gave Armenian its tevem "to last", Russian davno "long ago", and Ancient Greek den "long since". English borrowed several words based on the Latin verb, including durable, durance, duration, and during. (Let's hope that George Kovac's recommendations for Good Words like today's are a perdurable stream.)

Dr. Goodword,

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