permeate

verb
per·​me·​ate | \ ˈpər-mē-ˌāt \
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 \ 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

Happiness seems to be in short supply today, with acrimony, incivility and bad behavior permeating society and the media from the highest echelons of government on down. Edith Hall, WSJ, "Aristotle’s Pursuit of Happiness," 31 Jan. 2019 But both of these methods stem from a natural source—rainfall, which permeates aquifers through streams and lakes. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Climate Change Could Turn Earth's Aquifers Into a Time Bomb," 22 Jan. 2019 More importantly, the same creepiness and tension that made The Twilight Zone so influential also permeate both games. Michael Moore, The Verge, "Midnight Scenes are the perfect Halloween weekend bite-sized games," 28 Oct. 2018 Astronomers have also studied the cosmic microwave background — the oldest light in the universe, which permeates the entire sky — and found roughly the same proportions of normal matter, dark matter and dark energy. Amina Khan, latimes.com, "After years of searching, scientists can finally account for all the normal matter in the universe," 20 June 2018 Though the restaurant has a Mediterranean theme, space themes permeate the decor (like most restaurants and businesses nearby), Beggs continues. Alex Stuckey, Houston Chronicle, "Restaurant near NASA's Johnson Space Center featured in Bon Appetit," 11 June 2018 Despite several studies that confirm Black fathers are typically very involved in the lives of their children, an ugly string of representation of Black fatherhood permeates even the best and most honest images of Black fatherhood in existence. Joelle Monique, Teen Vogue, ""If Beale Street Could Talk" Highlights the Power of Love in a World Designed for Black People to Fail," 9 Jan. 2019 Her Moroccan heritage permeates through her music and look, too. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Get to Know Dounia Tazi, a Fashion Nova–Loving Modern Day Bombshell," 12 Nov. 2018 There was no shortage of glitter or rainbow flags, with an air of comradery and celebration permeating through the fest. Steven J. Horowitz, Billboard, "Kehlani, Tove Lo and Kim Petras Triumph at Pride LA 2018," 11 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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Statistics for permeate

Last Updated

9 Feb 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 \
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 \
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

Comments on permeate

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