Use the noun permeability to describe how slowly or quickly water soaks into something, particularly soil.

You're most likely to come across the word permeability in an earth science class. The permeability of something means basically the same thing as how absorbent it is — for example, a gravel driveway has much greater permeability than a heavy clay soil does. The root word is the Latin permeabilis, "that can be passed through."

Definitions of permeability

n the property of something that can be pervaded by a liquid (as by osmosis or diffusion)

impermeability, impermeableness
the property of something that cannot be pervaded by a liquid
the property of being absorbent
Type of:
porosity, porousness
the property of being porous; being able to absorb fluids

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