Word of the Day Archive
Tuesday August 7, 2001
permeate \PUR-mee-ayt\ , transitive verb:
1. To spread or diffuse through.
2. To pass through the pores or openings of.
1. To spread through or penetrate something.
A darkly sweet aroma permeated the air; white orchid blossoms erupted from snakelike vines.
-- Chu Tien-Wen, Notes of a Desolate Man
Passers-by could see into buildings through display windows, while the warm glow and sweet smells emanating from the shops and cafes permeated the partly enclosed pedestrian ways.
-- Larry R. Ford, The Spaces Between Buildings
The travelers, with their pinched, ferocious expressions and their too brightly glittering eyes, projected an aura of paranoia mixed with anxiety that permeated the bus.
-- Tama Janowitz, A Certain Age
The fear of crime permeates their lives. They worry about being mugged . . . in a parking lot or while walking home from work.
-- David J. Krajicek, Scooped!
Permeate is from Latin permeare, "to go through, to pass through," from per-, "through" + meare, "to go, to pass."