im·​preg·​nate | \ im-ˈpreg-ˌnāt How to pronounce impregnate (audio) , ˈim-ˌpreg- \
impregnated; impregnating

Definition of impregnate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to cause to be filled, imbued, permeated, or saturated impregnate wood with varnish
b : to permeate thoroughly
2 : to make pregnant : fertilize


im·​preg·​nate | \ im-ˈpreg-nət How to pronounce impregnate (audio) \

Definition of impregnate (Entry 2 of 2)

: being filled or saturated

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Other Words from impregnate


impregnation \ (ˌ)im-​ˌpreg-​ˈnā-​shən How to pronounce impregnation (audio) \ noun
impregnator \ im-​ˈpreg-​ˌnā-​tər How to pronounce impregnator (audio) , ˈim-​ˌpreg-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for impregnate

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for impregnate


soak, saturate, drench, steep, impregnate mean to permeate or be permeated with a liquid. soak implies usually prolonged immersion as for softening or cleansing. soak the garment in soapy water saturate implies a resulting effect of complete absorption until no more liquid can be held. a saturated sponge drench implies a thorough wetting by something that pours down or is poured. clothes drenched by a cloudburst steep suggests either the extraction of an essence (as of tea leaves) by the liquid or the imparting of a quality (such as a color) to the thing immersed. steep the tea for five minutes impregnate implies a thorough interpenetration of one thing by another. a cake strongly impregnated with brandy

Examples of impregnate in a Sentence

Verb a cake impregnated with brandy impregnated the cloth with furniture polish
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The original plan had been to use donor sperm to impregnate Candice. Molly Longman,, "The Hidden Costs Of Starting A Family When Queer," 15 June 2020 Famous long story short: David pursues an adulterous relationship with Bathsheba and impregnates her. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, "The Hero’s Journey Ends With a Whimper," 7 May 2020 Scott disappeared after agreeing to plead guilty to raping and impregnating his 14-year-old stepdaughter. Fox News, "Marshals nab Mississippi fugitive they say faked his own death 18 months ago," 1 Feb. 2020 Though Cooper and Irina Shayk are together and have a child, plenty of fans have declared themselves impregnated by this duet; watching it again (and again) seems like the only natural thing to do. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s Most Tender Awards Season Moments," 25 Feb. 2019 The trial for the former Hacienda nurse accused of raping and impregnating an incapacitated patient under his care has been pushed back as his attorney prepares to propose a possible plea agreement. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "Trial for ex-Hacienda nurse accused of raping, impregnating patient delayed," 18 Feb. 2020 Brown is a malign presence throughout the book, a skulking, constantly aggrieved figure who abuses Houston physically and emotionally, and impregnates another woman during their courtship. Allison Stewart, Washington Post, "Robyn Crawford exposes the villains in Whitney Houston’s transcendent, tragic life," 12 Nov. 2019 The Japanese used successively finer water stones—literally, stones soaked in water until they were impregnated. The Editors, Field & Stream, "The Outdoorsman’s Guide to Social Distancing," 18 Mar. 2020 In the 1970s and 1980s, a fertility doctor in Indianapolis used his own sperm, rather than a husband’s sperm or that of an anonymous donor, to impregnate at least 46 women. Jacqueline Mroz, New York Times, "Their Children Were Conceived With Donated Sperm. It Was the Wrong Sperm.," 3 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The genetic material was thus less effective for artificial insemination procedures to impregnate female dogs. Kristin Lam, USA TODAY, "How much is dog sperm worth? $400K, court rules, after an esteemed Labrador's DNA was destroyed," 28 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impregnate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of impregnate


1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1646, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for impregnate


Late Latin impraegnatus, past participle of impraegnare, from Latin in- + praegnas pregnant

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Time Traveler for impregnate

Time Traveler

The first known use of impregnate was in 1605

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Statistics for impregnate

Last Updated

25 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Impregnate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for impregnate


How to pronounce impregnate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of impregnate

: to cause (a material) to be filled or soaked with something
technical : to make (a woman or a female animal) pregnant


transitive verb
im·​preg·​nate | \ im-ˈpreg-ˌnāt, ˈim-ˌ How to pronounce impregnate (audio) \
impregnated; impregnating

Medical Definition of impregnate

1a : to make pregnant
b : to introduce sperm into : fertilize
2 : to cause to be filled, imbued, permeated, or saturated gauze impregnated with white petrolatum

Other Words from impregnate

impregnation \ (ˌ)im-​ˌpreg-​ˈnā-​shən How to pronounce impregnation (audio) \ noun

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