Definitions for penetrateˈpɛn ɪˌtreɪt

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word penetrate

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

pen•e•trateˈpɛn ɪˌtreɪt(v.)-trat•ed, -trat•ing.

  1. (v.t.)to pierce or pass into or through.

  2. to enter the interior of.

  3. to permeate.

  4. to arrive at the meaning of; comprehend.

  5. to obtain a share of (a market).

  6. to affect (the mind or feelings) deeply.

  7. to influence the affairs of (another country).

  8. (v.i.)to enter or pass through something, as by piercing.

  9. to be diffused through something.

  10. to see or reach by intense searching or study (often fol. by to or into).

  11. to have a deep effect on someone.

Origin of penetrate:

1520–30; < L penetrātus, ptp. of penetrāre, v. der. of penitus deep down, with -r- prob. by analogy with intus inside, intrāre to enter ; see -ate1


Princeton's WordNet

  1. penetrate, perforate(verb)

    pass into or through, often by overcoming resistance

    "The bullet penetrated her chest"

  2. penetrate, fathom, bottom(verb)

    come to understand

  3. click, get through, dawn, come home, get across, sink in, penetrate, fall into place(verb)

    become clear or enter one's consciousness or emotions

    "It dawned on him that she had betrayed him"; "she was penetrated with sorrow"

  4. infiltrate, penetrate(verb)

    enter a group or organization in order to spy on the members

    "The student organization was infiltrated by a traitor"

  5. penetrate(verb)

    make one's way deeper into or through

    "The hikers did not manage to penetrate the dense forest"

  6. penetrate(verb)

    insert the penis into the vagina or anus of

    "Did the molester penetrate the child?"

  7. permeate, pervade, penetrate, interpenetrate, diffuse, imbue, riddle(verb)

    spread or diffuse through

    "An atmosphere of distrust has permeated this administration"; "music penetrated the entire building"; "His campaign was riddled with accusations and personal attacks"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. penetrate(verb)ˈpɛn ɪˌtreɪt

    to enter or get through

    to penetrate the army's line of defense; a bullet that penetrated the skull


  1. penetrate(Verb)

    Manage to enter into.

  2. penetrate(Verb)

    To achieve understanding despite (some obstacle thereto).

    I could not penetrate Burke's opaque rhetoric.

  3. penetrate(Verb)

    To insert a penis into an opening, such as a vagina.

  4. Origin: From penetratus, past participle of , from + (as in intrare, from ).

Webster Dictionary

  1. Penetrate(verb)

    to enter into; to make way into the interior of; to effect an entrance into; to pierce; as, light penetrates darkness

  2. Penetrate(verb)

    to affect profoundly through the senses or feelings; to touch with feeling; to make sensible; to move deeply; as, to penetrate one's heart with pity

  3. Penetrate(verb)

    to pierce into by the mind; to arrive at the inner contents or meaning of, as of a mysterious or difficult subject; to comprehend; to understand

  4. Penetrate(verb)

    to pass; to make way; to pierce. Also used figuratively

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'penetrate' in Verbs Frequency: #985

Translations for penetrate

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


to move, go or make a way into, past, or through (something)

The bullet penetrated his shoulder; Their minds could not penetrate the mystery.

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