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penetrate

[pen-i-treyt] /ˈpɛn ɪˌtreɪt/
verb (used with object), penetrated, penetrating.
1.
to pierce or pass into or through:
The bullet penetrated the wall. The fog lights penetrated the mist.
2.
to enter the interior of:
to penetrate a forest.
3.
to enter and diffuse itself through; permeate.
4.
to arrive at the truth or meaning of; understand; comprehend:
to penetrate a mystery.
5.
to obtain a share of (a market):
to penetrate the Canadian coffee market.
6.
to affect or impress (the mind or feelings) deeply.
7.
to extend influence, usually peacefully, into the affairs of (another country).
verb (used without object), penetrated, penetrating.
8.
to enter, reach, or pass through something, as by piercing:
We penetrated to the interior of the Kasbah.
9.
to be diffused through something.
10.
to understand or read the meaning of something.
11.
to have a deep effect or impact on someone.
Origin
1520-1530
1520-30; < Latin penetrātus (past participle of penetrāre), equivalent to penet-, variant stem of penitus deep down + -r- (probably by analogy with intus inside: intrāre to enter) + -ātus + -ate1
Related forms
penetrator, noun
prepenetrate, verb (used with object), prepenetrated, prepenetrating.
unpenetrated, adjective
Synonyms
1. See pierce. 4. fathom, discern. 6. touch.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for penetrate
  • Benzodiazepines such as flunitrazepam are lipophilic and rapidly penetrate membranes.
  • Wherever the wax has seeped through the fabric, the dye will not penetrate.
  • They trample the developing plants and allow frost to penetrate the rhizomes.
British Dictionary definitions for penetrate

penetrate

/ˈpɛnɪˌtreɪt/
verb
1.
to find or force a way into or through (something); pierce; enter
2.
to diffuse through (a substance); permeate
3.
(transitive) to see through: their eyes could not penetrate the fog
4.
(transitive) (of a man) to insert the penis into the vagina of (a woman)
5.
(transitive) to grasp the meaning of (a principle, etc)
6.
(intransitive) to be understood: his face lit up as the new idea penetrated
Derived Forms
penetrable, adjective
penetrability, noun
penetrably, adverb
penetrative, adjective
penetrator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin penetrāre; related to penitus inner, and penus the interior of a house
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for penetrate
v.

1520s, from Latin penetratus, past participle of penetrare "to put or get into, enter into," related to penitus "within, inmost," penus "innermost part of a temple, store of food," penates "household gods." Related: Penetrated; penetrating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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