per·​fo·​rate | \ ˈpər-fə-ˌrāt How to pronounce perforate (audio) \
perforated; perforating

Definition of perforate

transitive verb

1 : to make a hole through especially : to make a line of holes in to facilitate separation
2 : to pass through or into by or as if by making a hole

intransitive verb

: to penetrate a surface

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Other Words from perforate

perforate \ ˈpər-​f(ə-​)rət How to pronounce perforate (audio) , -​fə-​ˌrāt \ adjective
perforator \ ˈpər-​fə-​ˌrā-​tər How to pronounce perforate (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for perforate


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Examples of perforate in a Sentence

Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, and then use a fork to perforate the foil. he perforated the sheet with his pencil and put it in his binder
Recent Examples on the Web Left for long enough, the buildup can cause the colon to perforate, allowing the contents of the bowel to spill into the abdomen. Colleen Stinchcombe,, 20 Sep. 2021 The structure ensures the tire doesn’t pinch flat, the annoying disruption when the tire presses against the tube hard enough to perforate it, usually leaving two puncture wounds that look like a snakebite. Stephanie Pearson, Wired, 19 Dec. 2020 During the alleged nonconsensual procedure, Perwaiz had also perforated her bladder. Washington Post, 11 Nov. 2019 The maple plywood panel has perforated slots for hooks and shelves, along with custom boxes for cookie sheets and a custom feeding shelf for Paric’s cat, Gimlet., 12 Oct. 2019 Sometimes, death by plastic is obvious—if, for instance, albatross chicks are found dead with only plastic and no food in their stomachs, or if a whale’s necropsy shows intestines perforated by sharp plastic. Natasha Daly, National Geographic, 5 Dec. 2019 The only kind that was available was rough and gray, and it was not perforated into individual sheets. The New Yorker, 13 Apr. 2020 This affordable pan is non-stick, dishwasher-safe, and perforated to give your French loaf a delicious golden crust. Jennifer Aldrich, Better Homes & Gardens, 6 Apr. 2020 These gym shoes are undoubtedly a wardrobe staple with their timeless silhouette, perforated three stripe design, and rubber sole. Melissa Lee, USA TODAY, 3 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perforate.' 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 perforate

1538, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for perforate

Latin perforatus, past participle of perforare to bore through, from per- through + forare to bore — more at bore

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Time Traveler for perforate

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The first known use of perforate was in 1538

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Statistics for perforate

Last Updated

30 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Perforate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of perforate

: to make a hole or a series of holes in (something)


per·​fo·​rate | \ ˈpər-fə-ˌrāt How to pronounce perforate (audio) \
perforated; perforating

Kids Definition of perforate

: to make a hole or many holes through


per·​fo·​rate | \ ˈpər-fə-ˌrāt How to pronounce perforate (audio) \
perforated; perforating

Medical Definition of perforate

transitive verb

1 : to make a hole through an ulcer perforates the duodenal wall
2 : to enter or extend through the nerve perforates the dura mater

intransitive verb

: to penetrate a surface the wound in the forearm was perforatingJournal of the American Medical Association

More from Merriam-Webster on perforate

Nglish: Translation of perforate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of perforate for Arabic Speakers


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