permeate

verb
per·​me·​ate | \ ˈpər-mē-ˌāt How to pronounce permeate (audio) \
permeated; permeating

Definition of permeate

intransitive verb

: to diffuse through or penetrate something

transitive verb

1 : to spread or diffuse through a room permeated with tobacco smoke
2 : to pass through the pores or interstices of

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Other Words from permeate

permeative \ ˈpər-​mē-​ˌā-​tiv How to pronounce permeative (audio) \ adjective

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").

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Friends of Cámara invariably point to her own family as the wellspring of the breezy self-belief and magnanimity that permeates her restaurants. Rob Haskell, Vogue, "What’s Next for Gabriela Cámara? A New L.A. Restaurant—And Foray into Politics," 15 May 2019 The moment a nuclear bomb detonates, several forms of nuclear radiation instantly permeate the environment. Daily Intelligencer, "This Is What a Nuclear Bomb Looks Like," 12 June 2018 Like smoke from a house fire, sadness, fear, anger and confusion permeate the Taylor home. Steve Bennett, San Antonio Express-News, "A fictionalized take on a too-common tragedy," 8 Mar. 2018 Marine blue permeated collections from Lemaire to Louis Vuitton. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Will Blue Make You Psychic? Can Yellow Detox Your Mind? A Color Therapist Weighs in on Fall 2019’s Color Trends," 4 Apr. 2019 The unmistakable odor of octopus and squid grilling over charcoal permeated the air. Taras Grescoe, New York Times, "The Best Asian Food in North America? Try British Columbia," 4 June 2018 This thinking permeated the culture from adults to children. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "No One Picks Up the Phone Anymore," 31 May 2018 Themes of service to others, unity and seizing the day and treasuring special moments permeated the graduation exercises. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Service to others makes John Carroll Class of 2018 'so special,' principal says," 27 May 2018 Goose bumps and tear drops permeated the speedway, as Cornelison delivered that last, long, operatic note of the ballad that means so much to Hoosiers around the world. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Cornelison poised to take '(Back Home Again in) Indiana' torch from Indy 500 icon, Nabors," 25 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'permeate.' 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 permeate

1656, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for 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

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Statistics for permeate

Last Updated

18 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for permeate

The first known use of permeate was in 1656

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More Definitions for permeate

permeate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of permeate

formal : to pass or spread through (something)

permeate

verb
per·​me·​ate | \ ˈper-mē-ˌāt How to pronounce permeate (audio) \
permeated; permeating

Kids Definition of permeate

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.

permeate

verb
per·​me·​ate | \ ˈpər-mē-ˌāt How to pronounce permeate (audio) \
permeated; permeating

Medical Definition of permeate

intransitive verb

: to diffuse through or penetrate something

transitive verb

: to pass through the pores or interstices of

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More from Merriam-Webster on permeate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with permeate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for permeate

Spanish Central: Translation of permeate

Nglish: Translation of permeate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of permeate for Arabic Speakers

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