: to become diffused throughout every part of
Did You Know?
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").
"While the editors and contributors are careful to avoid wading into nostalgic celebration, a wistful tone pervades almost every essay…." — Lily Geismer, The Washington Post, 7 May 2017
"It is not uncommon for people to have a vague notion of something called 'energy' that could be likened to the Force in 'Star Wars'—some mystical quality that pervades everything, something that holds the universe together, something that can be tapped to heal or communicate or run a motor or see the future." — David Hewitt, The Tulare (California) Advance-Register, 8 May 2017
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Word Family Quiz
What Spanish borrowing is related to Latin vadere and means "to depart quickly"?VIEW THE ANSWER
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP