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[verb pur-fuh-reyt; adjective pur-fer-it, -fuh-reyt] /verb ˈpɜr fəˌreɪt; adjective ˈpɜr fər ɪt, -fəˌreɪt/
verb (used with object), perforated, perforating.
to make a hole or holes through by boring, punching, piercing, or the like.
to pierce through or to the interior of; penetrate.
verb (used without object), perforated, perforating.
to make a way through or into something; penetrate.
Origin of perforate
1530-40; < Latin perforātus, past participle of perforāre to bore2 through; see per-
Related forms
perforable, adjective
perforative, adjective
perforator, noun
multiperforate, adjective
nonperforating, adjective
unperforable, adjective
unperforating, adjective
unperforative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for perforate


verb (ˈpɜːfəˌreɪt)
to make a hole or holes in (something); penetrate
(transitive) to punch rows of holes between (stamps, coupons, etc) for ease of separation
adjective (ˈpɜːfərɪt)
  1. pierced by small holes: perforate shells
  2. marked with small transparent spots
(philately) another word for perforated (sense 2)
Derived Forms
perforable (ˈpɜːfərəbəl) adjective
perforative, perforatory, adjective
perforator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin perforāre, from per- through + forāre to pierce
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 perforate

late 15c. (implied in perforated), a back-formation from perforation or else from Latin perforatus, past participle of perforare "to bore through, pierce through." Related: Perforating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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perforate in Medicine

perforate per·fo·rate (pûr'fə-rāt')
v. per·fo·rat·ed, per·fo·rat·ing, per·fo·rates

  1. To make a hole or holes in, as from injury, disease, or medical procedure.

  2. To pass into or through (a body structure or tissue).

adj. (pûr'fər-ĭt, -fə-rāt')
Having been perforated.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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