Definition of pervasive
: existing in or spreading through every part of something a pervasive odor
Examples of pervasive in a Sentence
A resuscitated orthodoxy, so pervasive as to be nearly invisible, rules the land. —Mark Slouka, Harper's, November 2004
The manic money-grab excitement of the Nineties had never been altogether free of our pervasive American guilt. —Norman Mailer, New York Review of Books, 27 Mar. 2002
Race was never articulated as an issue at the trial, even though its presence was pervasive. —Howard Chua-Eoan, Time, 6 Mar. 2000
the pervasive nature of the problem
television's pervasive influence on our culture
Recent Examples of pervasive from the Web
More than 20 women spoke, The Guardian reports, citing catcalling and being dismissed by male superiors among several pervasive issues.
A New Spectrum Autism was once separate from other developmental complications such as Asperger’s syndrome, pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) and childhood disintegrative disorder.
The story also exposes much bigger issues Americans will have to confront -- about gun violence, about partisanship, about the country's pervasive sense of division.
There’s a dash of this in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, in large part because of a pervasive college element.
Diana grew up on an island with no men and without the pervasive influence of the patriarchy.
Yet what lingers is the pervasive fear of abandonment, all of it encapsulated by Roberts' final, unforgettable primal scream.
The cheap motels and deteriorating apartments attracted transients, and over time the neighborhood became a haven for gangs, drug dealers and pervasive crime.
Hacking tools are easily spread online and pervasive software threats are costly to patch up.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pervasive'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Is pervasive Always Negative?
Pervasive is most often used of things we don't really want spreading throughout all parts of something:
a pervasive problem
a stench that is pervasive
But pervasive can occasionally also be found in neutral and even positive contexts:
a pervasive rhythm
a pervasive sense of calm
The meaning isn't neutral when the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) uses it. Beginning in the early 1990s, the MPAA started giving the R rating to movies with "pervasive language." Most movies have language throughout, of course. The MPAA is using the phrase "pervasive language" to refer to the frequent use of a particular kind of language: profanity.
PERVASIVE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of pervasive for English Language Learners
: existing in every part of something : spreading to all parts of something
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