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 Fascist Morty could be a direct assault on a certain brand of Rick and Morty viewer, and the notion that the series has a troll-fan problem has permeated the writers’ room enough for Harmon to discuss it with EW’s own James Hibberd. Darren Franich, EW.com, "Rick and Morty season 4 premieres with a thrilling multiversal time-twister," 11 Nov. 2019 Johnson said the Texans' locker room chemistry is strong and that an unselfish, team-first attitude has permeated the building. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Texans' Duke Johnson provides versatile threat," 11 Oct. 2019 Similar feelings of distrust have permeated the rank and file at the State Department, where many officials expressed chagrin to TIME about Pompeo’s apparent willingness to defend Trump’s alleged use of foreign policy for his own political gain. Alana Abramson, Time, "How Mike Pompeo Is Taking Center Stage In Trump’s Impeachment Drama," 4 Oct. 2019 Though hate is a story that dates to the nation’s inception and has permeated every major chapter of its history, the summit’s catalyst may have been the mass shootings in El Paso. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "Mexico to lead international summit on U.S. white supremacy," 28 Sep. 2019 That barely touched the surface of how deeply the corruption permeated the department, though. Dahleen Glanton, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Rest easy, Laquan McDonald. Your death was not in vain.," 23 July 2019 Gender inequality permeated not only Pakistani society but the police and judiciary, HRW said, and was a major factor in the reluctance of many victims to come forward. Amy Woodyatt And Sophia Saifi, CNN, "Pakistan to open more than 1,000 new courts to fight violence against women," 20 June 2019 Perhaps nothing in recent memory has galvanized San Joseans of all backgrounds and beliefs quite so much as the deep frustration with Union Pacific that has permeated conversations at City Hall and community centers the past few months. Emily Deruy, The Mercury News, "San Jose councilman: ‘Union Pacific has not been a good neighbor’," 5 June 2019 But nothing about this year’s BETX feels cohesive or offers any particular narrative at a time when R&B and hip-hop have permeated so much of the culture. Gerrick D. Kennedy, latimes.com, "Smokin' Grooves, BET Experience offer varying ambitions for R&B, rap fans," 21 June 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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Time Traveler for permeate

Time Traveler

The first known use of permeate was in 1656

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Listen to Our Podcast about permeate

Statistics for permeate

Last Updated

9 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Permeate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/permeate. Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for permeate

permeate

verb
How to pronounce permeate (audio)

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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Comments on permeate

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