per·​vade | \ pər-ˈvād How to pronounce pervade (audio) \
pervaded; pervading

Definition of pervade

transitive verb

: to become diffused throughout every part of

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English speakers borrowed pervade in the mid-17th century from Latin pervadere, meaning "to go through." Pervadere, in turn, was formed by combining the prefix per-, meaning "through," with the verb vadere, meaning "to go." Synonyms of pervade include permeate, impregnate, and saturate. Pervade stresses a spreading diffusion throughout every part of a whole ("art and music pervade every aspect of their lives"). Permeate implies diffusion specifically throughout a material thing ("the smell of freshly baked bread permeated the house"). Impregnate suggests a forceful influence or effect on something throughout ("impregnate the cotton with alcohol"). Saturate is used when nothing more may be taken up or absorbed ("the cloth is saturated with water").

Examples of pervade in a Sentence

A feeling of great sadness pervades the film. Art and music pervade every aspect of their lives.
Recent Examples on the Web In a special experiment prepared to measure solar neutrinos—particles ejected from the heart of the sun that pervade the matter all around us—the scientists combined a synthetic isotope called chromium 51 with a large source of gallium. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 11 July 2022 This backward line of thought can pervade the CRM implementation at any and all phases. Tal Frankfurt, Forbes, 15 June 2022 Racist and sexist pressures pervade intimate spaces and private lives and shape identities and self-images, and the characters forge a sense of style as a way of coping and as a mode of protest, defiance, and self-assertion. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 13 May 2022 Her more extreme opponents have taken direct aim at her with racist tropes, and criticize her class and political legitimacy, expressing sentiments that continue to pervade and sway portions of Colombian society. New York Times, 6 May 2022 Indeed, some degree of befuddlement seems to pervade many of the early reviews from viewers who’ve seen this one. Andy Meek, BGR, 14 Dec. 2021 Alexa was the only one at the time that could stream music throughout the house; the Conrads loved the idea of having a surround sound system pervade their entire home. Steven Aquino, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 And pessimism continued to pervade among Western leaders the talks could yield significant progress. Kevin Liptak, CNN, 30 Mar. 2022 At this fall's inaugural Eradicate Hate conference, held just 10 months after the Jan. 6 insurrection showed how deeply hateful ideologies pervade U.S. society, experts in violent domestic extremism discovered something surprising: hope. Will Carless, USA TODAY, 27 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pervade.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of pervade

1659, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pervade

Latin pervadere to go through, pervade, from per- through + vadere to go — more at per-, wade

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Time Traveler for pervade

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The first known use of pervade was in 1659

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pervalvar axis

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Last Updated

19 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pervade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for pervade


per·​vade | \ pər-ˈvād How to pronounce pervade (audio) \
pervaded; pervading

Kids Definition of pervade

: to spread through all parts of : permeate Spicy smells pervaded the whole house.

More from Merriam-Webster on pervade

Nglish: Translation of pervade for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pervade for Arabic Speakers


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