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

Borrowing the splashy approach deployed by publishers like Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, Abott sought to call attention to the racial injustices that permeated America during the Jim Crow era. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "The ‘Chicago Defender,’ an Iconic Black Newspaper, to Release Its Last Print Issue," 9 July 2019 In a darkened room at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, amid loud rock music and the permeating smell of French fries, arm wrestlers from around the world came together under the spotlight to compete in the Arizona Arm Wrestling Championships. Claire Rafford, azcentral, "With a grip on sport and friendship, arm wrestlers embrace challenge at championships," 22 June 2019 McNally’s great gift is his flamboyant wit, but his comedy is permeated with an intimate understanding of the flip side of love — loss. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "Review: PBS documentary of playwright Terrence McNally celebrates a master of connection," 13 June 2019 The pickles, permeated with the heat of chiles de árbol, cut through the sweetness of the clover honey. Samantha Allen, Condé Nast Traveler, "New York City's Unofficial Gathering Spot for Pickle Lovers," 10 June 2019 History permeates nearly every aspect of Rwandan life. Benedict Moran, National Geographic, "Rwanda's war nearly destroyed this park. Now it's coming back.," 7 May 2019 But bathrooms at Geo’s Adelanto center had mold permeating the walls, ceiling, vents and shower stalls, which can lead to allergic reactions and serious illness for the detainees, inspectors said in the report. Marcia Heroux Pounds, sun-sentinel.com, "Immigrants mistreated in Geo Group detention centers, inspectors find," 10 June 2019 The smokiness of ancient copal (once used by the Mayans as an energy cleanser) and the fresh scent of sabila (aloe vera, known for its regenerating powers) will permeate these memories; both are key ingredients in the hotel’s signature fragrance. Vogue, "The Power of Scent: 5 New Fragrances to Help Those Vacation Memories Linger, Long After The Trip Ends," 31 May 2019 Now is the time to see China, while ancient traditions still permeate everyday life, and modern influences creep in through the old city streets. Mei Zhang, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to China," 5 Oct. 2016

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

13 Jul 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

Comments on permeate

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