Simple Definition of penetrate
: 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.)
Full Definition of penetrate
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
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
Examples of penetrate in a sentence
These bullets can penetrate armor.
radiation penetrating the Earth's atmosphere
The bullet failed to penetrate.
The heat penetrated through the wall.
The roots of these plants have been known to penetrate to a depth of more than 15 feet.
My car's headlights couldn't penetrate the dense fog.
Origin and Etymology 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
PENETRATE Defined for Kids
Definition of penetrate for Students
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 Definition of penetrate
transitive verb: 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>
Seen and Heard
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