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

That zeal for justice will continue to permeate her artistic work; her videos in particular create worlds of both oppression and rebellion. Sean Knight, Glamour, "Janelle Monáe Knows She Has Your Attention. Get Ready for What's Next.," 5 Nov. 2018 Floor-to-ceiling slats of walnut are the centerpiece of the open-concept entertaining spaces, used both as a design element and a way to permeate the area with natural light. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Hillside modern marvel with pool and views asks $4.9M," 24 Oct. 2018 The aether was the invisible material thought to permeate all the empty space in the universe, used by famous thinkers from Aristotle to Isaac Newton to explain the mysteries of the natural world. Meg Neal, Popular Mechanics, "The Eternal Quest for Aether, the Cosmic Stuff That Never Was," 19 Oct. 2018 While these artists seem worlds apart, the connection illustrates just how deeply hip-hop aesthetics and sounds continue to permeate and broaden mainstream tastes. Jessi Roti, chicagotribune.com, "For Juice Wrld, mega-streaming numbers and 'emo rap' are just the beginning," 27 June 2018 The senior management team at Kimpton fosters an energy of positivism around the head office that permeates down to all of our managers at our hotels and to all employees. Fortune, "Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants," 26 June 2018 Hayden Dunham Hayden Dunham is fascinated by the natural and chemical substances that permeate our bodies. Julia Sherman, New York Times, "A Cookbook of Artists’ Creative Summer Desserts," 22 June 2018 Journalists have never worked harder to protect Americans from the ubiquitous hucksterism that permeates America from Main Street to K Street. Claire Atkinson, NBC News, "Elon Musk wants a ratings system for reporters," 25 May 2018 That customer-first mindset comes from CEO Sheryl Palmer and permeates down through every division and department. Elise Riley, azcentral, "Taylor Morrison earns high marks as employer," 14 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

16 Nov 2018

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

: 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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Comments on permeate

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