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
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.
In fact, the global energy industry—which has been known for its penchant for decades-long planning and pervasive resistance to change—has become one of the nimblest, fastest, and most innovative industries around.
Rich color, scorching sunlight and a sense of pervasive loneliness characterize his work, writes Crocker associate director and chief curator, Scott Shields.
But a massive accounting scandal and accounts from former Toshiba employees suggest more pervasive problems within its management.
But this pervasive assumption rationalizing residential segregation in the United States ignores the long history of federal, state and local policies that generated the residential segregation found across the country today.
After a 2011 Mother Jones investigation exposed pervasive cruelty toward elephants at Ringling Bros, a number of petitions and public interest campaigns demanded change.
But the kind of behavior described in the former Uber employee’s blog post is pervasive in tech, according to employment attorneys, workplace management experts, and women in the sector who in recent days have spoken out on Twitter.
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.
Origin and Etymology of pervasive
First Known Use: circa 1750
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
Seen and Heard
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