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[pen-i-truh-buh l] /ˈpɛn ɪ trə bəl/
capable of being penetrated.
Origin of penetrable
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin penetrābilis, equivalent to penetrā(re) to penetrate + -bilis -ble
Related forms
penetrability, penetrableness, noun
penetrably, adverb
nonpenetrability, noun
nonpenetrable, adjective
nonpenetrably, adverb
self-penetrability, noun
transpenetrable, adjective
unpenetrable, adjective
unpenetrably, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for penetrable
Historical Examples
  • Callum, flint to other considerations, was penetrable to superstition.

    Waverley Sir Walter Scott
  • Actually, he had placed his soldiers in a most penetrable trap.

  • The one penetrable point in his ironclad nature had not been reached yet.

    Heart and Science Wilkie Collins
  • If it is nothing, nothing can have no quality; yet you tell me that it is penetrable and immense.

    A Philosophical Dictionary, Volume 6 (of 10) Franois-Marie Arouet (AKA Voltaire)
  • The lady had seen much of foreign life—had travelled in every penetrable country, and her wealth seemed as great as her beauty.

    Fashion and Famine Ann S. Stephens
  • The skin is, in some parts, so thick and hard as scarcely to be penetrable by the sharpest sabre, or even by a musket-ball.

  • The thoughtless objection about the only penetrable points is, I hope, swept aside forever.

    More Hunting Wasps J. Henri Fabre
  • But this is not how you understand the matter: you mean accessible to the sting, in a word, penetrable.

    More Hunting Wasps J. Henri Fabre
  • Before calcination it is of a grey colour, is not penetrable by water, and takes a polish.

  • The penetrable gloom there, and the growing apprehension concerning the countess and Nevil, tore her to pieces.

Word Origin and History for penetrable

early 15c., "penetrating," from Latin penetrabilis "penetrable, vulnerable," from penetrare (see penetrate). Meaning "capable of being penetrated" is attested from 1530s; figurative use by 1590s. Related: Penetrability.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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