late 14c., "having the quality of continuing long in being," from Old French durable (11c.) and directly from Latin durabilis "lasting, permanent," from durare "to harden," from durus "hard," from PIE *dru-ro-, suffixed variant form of root *deru- "be firm, solid, steadfast." From late 13c. as a surname (probably meaning "steadfast"). Related: Durably. Durable goods attested from 1930.