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 ("a green dye permeating a garment"). "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 ("cloth 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 However, if a flexibility stigma starts to pervade an organization, employees may be less likely to embrace hybrid working for fear of being labeled as unproductive or uncommitted. Lindsay Kohler, Forbes, 16 June 2021 Still, the global stink of pandemic seemed to pervade everything. Paul Eisenberg,, 6 June 2021 It’s about a system—made up of everyday people, some of whom perpetuate divisiveness—rooted in white supremacy that allows this sort of behavior to pervade white institutions. Rita Omokha, Wired, 26 May 2021 If so, then there is serious dysfunction that could pervade the entire workplace. Shakeel Ahmed, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2021 Themes of borders, displacement and the effects of colonialism pervade the exhibitions, which offer introspective takes on layered subject matter. Alicia Eler, Star Tribune, 8 Apr. 2021 The feeling that this is a very crucial time will pervade the energy of the week. Amy Solara, Travel + Leisure, 30 Apr. 2021 The inspiration comes from her own story, and the inequalities that continue to pervade our society. Hessie Jones, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2021 We are covered in ash and strong sulphur scents pervade the air. Radina Gigova, CNN, 10 Apr. 2021

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.

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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

7 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pervade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for pervade



English Language Learners Definition of pervade

formal : to spread through all parts of (something) : to exist in every part of (something)


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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