Dictionary

penetrate

verb pen·e·trate \ˈpe-nə-ˌtrāt\

: to go through or into something

: to see or show the way through (something)

: to succeed in becoming part of (an organization, a community, etc.)

pen·e·trat·edpen·e·trat·ing

Full Definition of PENETRATE

transitive verb
1
a :  to pass into or through
b :  to enter by overcoming resistance :  pierce
c :  to gain entrance to
2
a :  to see into or through
b :  to discover the inner contents or meaning of
3
:  to affect profoundly with feeling
4
:  to diffuse through or into
intransitive verb
1
a :  to pass, extend, pierce, or diffuse into or through something
b :  to pierce something with the eye or mind
2
:  to affect deeply the senses or feelings
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Examples of PENETRATE

  1. These bullets can penetrate armor.
  2. radiation penetrating the Earth's atmosphere
  3. The bullet failed to penetrate.
  4. The heat penetrated through the wall.
  5. The roots of these plants have been known to penetrate to a depth of more than 15 feet.
  6. My car's headlights couldn't penetrate the dense fog.

Origin of PENETRATE

Latin penetratus, past participle of penetrare, from penitus deep within, far; akin to Latin penus provisions
First Known Use: circa 1530

Synonym Discussion of PENETRATE

enter, penetrate, pierce, probe mean to make way into something. enter is the most general of these and may imply either going in or forcing a way in <entered the city in triumph>. penetrate carries a strong implication of an impelling force or compelling power that achieves entrance <the enemy penetrated the fortress>. pierce means an entering or cutting through with a sharp pointed instrument <pierced the boil with a lancet>. probe implies penetration to investigate or explore something hidden from sight or knowledge <probed the depths of the sea>.

Rhymes with PENETRATE

abdicate, abnegate, abrogate, acclimate, acerbate, acetate, activate, actuate, acylate, adsorbate, advocate, adulate, adumbrate, aggravate, aggregate, agitate, allocate, altercate, ambulate, amputate, animate, annotate, annulate, antedate, antiquate, apartheid, apostate, approbate, arbitrate, arcuate, arrogate, aspirate, auscultate, automate, aviate, bantamweight, Bering Strait, bifurcate, billingsgate, bipinnate, boilerplate, bombinate, brachiate, buffer state, cabinmate, cachinnate, calculate, calibrate, caliphate, candidate, cannulate, cantillate, capitate, captivate, carbonate, carbon-date, carinate, carload rate, castigate, catenate, cavitate, celebrate, cerebrate, chlorinate, circinate, circulate, city-state, client state, cogitate, colligate, collimate, collocate, commentate, commutate, compensate, complicate, concentrate, condensate, confiscate, conglobate, conjugate, consecrate, constellate, consternate, constipate, consummate, contemplate, copperplate, copulate, coronate, correlate, corrugate, coruscate, counterweight, crepitate, criminate, cruciate, cucullate, culminate, cultivate, cumulate, cuneate, cupulate, cuspidate, cyclamate, Davis Strait, deaerate, decimate, decollate, decorate, decussate, defalcate, defecate, deflagrate, dehydrate, delegate, demarcate, demonstrate, denigrate, Denmark Strait, depilate, deviate, deprecate, depredate, derivate, derogate, desecrate, desiccate, designate, desolate, desquamate, detonate, devastate, deviate, digitate, diplomate, discarnate, dislocate, dissertate, dissipate, distillate, divagate, dominate, double date, edentate, educate, elevate, elongate, eluate, emanate, emigrate, emirate, emulate, enervate, ephorate, escalate, estimate, estivate, excavate, exchange rate, exculpate, execrate, expiate, explicate, expurgate, exsiccate, extirpate, extricate, exudate, fabricate, fascinate, fashion plate, featherweight, fecundate, federate, fenestrate, festinate, fibrillate, first estate, flagellate, flocculate, fluctuate, fluoridate, foliate, formulate, fornicate, fourth estate, fractionate, fragmentate, fulminate, fumigate, fustigate, geminate, generate, germinate, glaciate, Golden Gate, graduate, granulate, gratulate, gravitate, heavyweight, hebetate, herniate, hesitate, hibernate, Hudson Strait, hundredweight, hyphenate, ideate, imamate, imbricate, imitate, immigrate, immolate, impetrate, implicate, imprecate, impregnate, incarnate, increate, incubate, inculcate, inculpate, incurvate, indagate, indicate, indurate, infiltrate, in-line skate, in-migrate, innervate, innovate, insensate, inspissate, instigate, insulate, interstate, intestate, intimate, intonate, intraplate, inundate, invocate, iodate, irrigate, irritate, isolate, iterate, jubilate, juniorate, lacerate, laminate, Latinate, laureate, legislate, levigate, levitate, liberate, license plate, liquidate, litigate, littermate, lubricate, macerate, machinate, magistrate, marginate, margravate, marinate, masticate, masturbate, maturate, mediate, medicate, meditate, meliorate, menstruate, microstate, micturate, middleweight, militate, mithridate, mitigate, moderate, modulate, motivate, multistate, mutilate, nation-state, nauseate, navigate, neonate, nictitate, niobate, nominate, numerate, obfuscate, objurgate, obligate, obovate, obviate, on a plate, operate, opiate, orchestrate, ordinate, oscillate, osculate, out-migrate, out-of-date, overstate, overweight, ovulate, paginate, palliate, palpitate, paperweight, patinate, peculate, pennyweight, percolate, perennate, perforate, permeate, perpetrate, personate, police state, pollinate, populate, postulate, potentate, predicate, procreate, profligate, promulgate, propagate, prorogate, pullulate, pulmonate, punctuate, quantitate, rabbinate, radiate, real estate, recreate, re-create, reinstate, relegate, relocate, remonstrate, renovate, replicate, reprobate, resonate, retardate, retranslate, roller-skate, roseate, rubricate, ruinate, ruminate, runagate, running mate, rusticate, sagittate, salivate, sanitate, satiate, saturate, scintillate, second-rate, segregate, self-portrait, separate, sequestrate, seriate, sibilate, silver plate, simulate, sinuate, situate, speculate, spoliate, stablemate, starting gate, steady state, stimulate, stipulate, strangulate, stridulate, stylobate, subjugate, sublimate, subrogate, subulate, suffocate, sultanate, Sunda Strait, supplicate, surrogate, syncopate, syndicate, tablemate, tabulate, target date, terminate, tessellate, tête-à-tête, thirty-eight, titillate, titivate, tolerate, transmigrate, transudate, tribulate, tribunate, trifurcate, trilobate, tripinnate, triplicate, tunicate, turbinate, ulcerate, ululate, umbellate, uncinate, underrate, understate, underweight, undulate, ungulate, urinate, vaccinate, vacillate, validate, valuate, variate, vegetate, venerate, ventilate, vertebrate, vicarate, vindicate, violate, vitiate, water gate, Watergate, welfare state, welterweight
PENETRATE Defined for Kids

penetrate

verb pen·e·trate \ˈpe-nə-ˌtrāt\
pen·e·trat·edpen·e·trat·ing

Definition of PENETRATE for Kids

1
:  to pass into or through <A nail penetrated the tire.> <But his voice was not strong enough to penetrate the thick wall. — E. B. White, Stuart Little>
2
:  to see into or through <My eyes couldn't penetrate the darkness.>
Medical Dictionary

penetrate

verb pen·e·trate \ˈpen-ə-ˌtrāt\
pen·e·trat·edpen·e·trat·ing

Medical Definition of PENETRATE

transitive verb
1
:  to pass into or through <enzymes that help the sperm penetrate the zona pellucida—Anna Maria Gillis>
2
:  to insert the penis into the vagina of in copulation
intransitive verb
:  to pass, extend, pierce, or diffuse into or through something <penetrating percutaneous nephroscopy or ureteroscopy—R. A. Riehle et al>

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