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

On march day, the scent of penguin permeates and the excitement is palpable. Steve Rubenstein, SFChronicle.com, "Baby penguins make their waddling debut at SF Zoo," 27 July 2019 That tough Alaskan attitude permeates the culture of the survival trip, and is shared by students, parents, and even those responsible for orchestrating the event. Susan Shain, The Atlantic, "When Your Final Exam Is Surviving the Wilderness," 5 June 2019 As these stories permeate, patients have become more vocal in the doctor’s office, seeking to know what physicians are doing each step of an exam, doctors say. Soumya Karlamanglastaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Sexual misconduct allegations against California doctors rise sharply since #MeToo era began," 12 Aug. 2019 Our world has some systemic problems.’’ Another roadblock to creating a more inclusive tech industry is a measure of diversity fatigue that’s permeated Silicon Valley. Jaclyn Gallucci, Fortune, "Tech Companies Are Still Struggling to Hire Black Workers," 8 June 2018 But permeating the industry is a sense of foreboding about struggling bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc., BKS 3.36% a sentiment that was palpable in recent days at the annual book show in New York. Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, WSJ, "Book Retailing Woes Undercut Excitement Over Clinton, Obama Titles," 4 June 2018 While analytics permeate many football operations — and increasingly so — the NFL is still serving up fully dimensional games. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Despite flaws, NFL game remains more watchable than NBA, MLB," 30 Aug. 2019 An attitude that London is lost permeates the Conservatives. The Economist, "London’s mayoral race shows Tory disregard for the capital," 22 Aug. 2019 People are doubting us’ The Blazers enter this season with the knowledge, and permeated culture, of having the blueprint for winning a championship. Evan Dudley, al, "7 things to look for as UAB starts fall camp," 1 Aug. 2019

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

5 Oct 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

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