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 \ˈpər-mē-ˌā-tiv\ adjective
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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.
Recent Examples of permeate from the Web
A beautiful undercurrent of loneliness permeates the work as all of the characters seem to be grasping at real relationships and failing, either due to circumstance or flaws in their person.
At Hershey, where the seductive odor of chocolate permeates the air, 188 people slept on cots set up in a covered ice rink.
In the Rio Grande Valley, notions of heritage and pride often involve an undercurrent of assimilation that permeates everyday life.
An American of Chinese immigrant heritage, Mr. Tao performed flinty works by Copland and the American maverick Frederic Rzewski, whose leftist convictions permeate his music.
The First Lady of the Fugees has permeated the culture for 20 years and continues to perform around the globe.
This sense of third person awareness permeated all my conversations with young Instagram users, making our interviews frustratingly repetitive and formal.
The story on New Atheism is a breath of fresh air in the climate of dishonesty and self delusion that permeates our modern culture.
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.
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: 1656See Words from the same year
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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