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[pur-mee-eyt] /ˈpɜr miˌeɪt/
verb (used with object), permeated, permeating.
to pass into or through every part of:
Bright sunshine permeated the room.
to penetrate through the pores, interstices, etc., of.
to be diffused through; pervade; saturate:
Cynicism permeated his report.
verb (used without object), permeated, permeating.
to become diffused; penetrate.
Origin of permeate
1650-60; < Latin permeātus past participle of permeāre to pass through. See per-, meatus
Related forms
permeation, noun
permeative, adjective
permeator, noun
interpermeate, verb (used with object), interpermeated, interpermeating.
nonpermeation, noun
nonpermeative, adjective
unpermeated, adjective
unpermeating, adjective
unpermeative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for permeate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We can stand it for a while, and it will permeate Jack's room and teach him the beauty of truth.

    Harvard Stories Waldron Kintzing Post
  • When they are counted by hundreds, we can permeate and trim and compromise.

    British Socialism J. Ellis Barker
  • It took ages, thousands of years, for the social conception of life to permeate men's consciousness.

  • The truth that he taught was a truth that was to permeate every thought and every act of life.

  • Turning the chicken with the breast down causes the juices to permeate the white meat and thus make it tender and juicy.

    Mrs. Wilson's Cook Book Mary A. Wilson
British Dictionary definitions for permeate


to penetrate or pervade (a substance, area, etc): a lovely smell permeated the room
to pass through or cause to pass through by osmosis or diffusion: to permeate a membrane
Derived Forms
permeation, noun
permeative, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin permeāre, from per- through + meāre to pass
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 permeate

1650s, from Latin permeatus, past participle of permeare "to pass through" (see permeable). Related: Permeated; permeating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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permeate in Medicine

permeate per·me·ate (pûr'mē-āt')
v. per·me·at·ed, per·me·at·ing, per·me·ates

  1. To spread or flow throughout; pervade.

  2. To pass through the openings or interstices of, as a liquid through a membrane.

n. (-ĭt, -āt')
One that can permeate.
per'me·ant (-ənt) or per'me·a'tive (-ā'tĭv) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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