Definition of permeate
: to diffuse through or penetrate something
1 : to spread or diffuse through <a room permeated with tobacco smoke>
2 : to pass through the pores or interstices of
permeativeplay \-ˌā-tiv\ adjective
Examples of permeate in a sentence
The water permeated the sand.
The smell of baking bread permeated the kitchen.
A feeling of anxiety permeated the office as we rushed to meet the deadline.
The rain permeated through the soil.
Did You Know?
It's no surprise that permeate means "to pass through something" - it was borrowed into English in the mid-17th century from the Latin permeatus, which comes from the prefix per- ("through") and the verb meare, meaning "to go" or "to pass." "Meare" itself comes from an ancient root that may have also led to Middle Welsh and Czech words meaning "to go" and "to pass," respectively. Other descendants of "meare" in English include "permeative," "permeable," "meatus" ("a natural body passage"), and the relatively rare "irremeable" ("offering no possibility of return").
Origin and Etymology of permeate
Latin permeatus, past participle of permeare, from per- through + meare to go, pass; akin to Middle Welsh mynet to go, Czech míjet to pass
First Known Use: 1656
PERMEATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of permeate for English Language Learners
: to pass or spread through (something)
PERMEATE Defined for Kids
Definition of permeate for Students
1 : to pass through something that has pores or small openings or is in a loose form <Water permeates sand.>
2 : to spread throughout <The smell of smoke permeated the room.>
Medical Definition of permeate
intransitive verb: to diffuse through or penetrate something
transitive verb: to pass through the pores or interstices of
Seen and Heard
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