from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Admitting the passage of gas or liquid through pores or interstices.
  • adjective Easily crossed or penetrated.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Having pores; porose; pervious by means of minute interstices.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Full of pores; having interstices in the skin or in the substance of the body; having spiracles or passages for fluids; permeable by liquids

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Full of tiny pores that allow fluids or gasses to pass through.
  • adjective full of loopholes
  • adjective figuratively With many gaps.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective able to absorb fluids
  • adjective full of pores or vessels or holes
  • adjective allowing passage in and out


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French poreux, poros, from Medieval Latin porōsus, from Latin porus, passage; see pore.]


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word porous.


  • Clearly, there was an interview published in the "New York Times" today with the new defense minister of the newly formed Afghanistan government, where he said that Osama bin Laden is definitely in Tora Bora and he went on to tell these reporters that not only can he find hiding places in this very complicated maze structure, but that if he felt too much pressure from the United States, it would make easy access to what they described as the porous border with Pakistan.

    CNN Transcript Dec 7, 2001 2001

  • They find a nice comfy nesting place in porous materials like woods. anna Says:

    BAMBU Kids Line of Bamboo Utensils | Inhabitat 2007

  • SpongeBob, as his song goes, "lives in a pineapple under the sea/absorbent and yellow and porous is he!"

    January 2005 2005

  • SpongeBush lives in a bubble in D.C./absorbent and shallow and porous is he!

    January 2005 2005

  • The technology is the advancement of the Quantum technology based on the magnetic quantum-optical phenomenon in porous silicon, says Atom Chip.

    World’s first solid state laptop? 2005

  • The walls between Blake's fiction and reality remain porous as characters

    Living Inside the Poem: MOOs and Blake's Milton 2005

  • Like the current Norton and Longman anthologies, the Broadview is "porous"--that is, multimedia.

    Anthologizing 2007

  • Like the current Norton and Longman anthologies, the Broadview is "porous"--that is, multimedia.

    The Little Professor: 2007

  • Campbell points out that he's a fast healer, which was evident during his years with the Washington Redskins when he was playing behind what charitably can be described as a porous offensive line.

    Brett Favre gets an injection in his ailing left ankle 2010

  • Mine have long been porous, which is a generous way of admitting that my lines between myself and others, in family and even more so at work, have been fuzzy.

    Wendy Strgar: The Importance of Boundaries 2010


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Filled with holes, IE as in pores. See sponge

    December 7, 2006