Life insurance terminology shouldn't be confusing. Here is the definition of permanent life insurance.
A category of life insurance products that are in effect for the life of the insured. The products in this category allow for a cash value to be built up over the life of the policy. That cash value can be borrowed against or paid to the policyholder in exchange for surrendering the policy.
Whole (ordinary) life, universal life, variable life and variable-universal life are permanent life insurance products. Because these do not cancel until the policy is surrendered, terminated for non-payment or the insured person dies, these policies are more expensive when compared to term life insurance.