Scala collections systematically distinguish between mutable and immutable collections. A mutable collection can be updated or extended in place. This means you can change, add, or remove elements of a collection as a side effect. Immutable collections, by contrast, never change. You have still operations that simulate additions, removals, or updates, but those operations will in each case return a new collection and leave the old collection unchanged.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://docs.scala-lang.org//overviews/collections/overview