- the act or power of penetrating.
- mental acuteness, discernment, or insight: a scholar of rare penetration.
- the obtaining of a share of a market for some commodity or service.
- the extension, usually peaceful, of the influence of one nation or culture into the affairs of another.
- a military attack that penetrates into enemy territory.
- Gunnery. the depth to which a projectile goes into the target.
- the measure of relative depth of field of a telescope or microscope, especially a binocular microscope.
Origin of penetration
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for penetration
Offense III.b: Sexual Misconduct that includes one or more of the following: penetration, violent physical force, or injury.Is Sex Assault a Crime in the Ivy League?
May 10, 2014
The scenes of penetration are obscured with masking or blurring.Japan’s Desperate Housewives Opting for Adulterous Online Dating
Angela Erika Kubo, Jake Adelstein
April 2, 2014
But does penetration on camera translate to a realistic portrait of sex and sex addiction?A Sex Addiction Expert Diagnoses Lars Von Trier’s ‘Nymphomaniac’
March 23, 2014
The last thing they wanted was for the U.S. to learn the extent of their penetration of the NSA and the FBI in Hawaii.Snowden’s Beijing Benefactors?
Gordon G. Chang
January 3, 2014
According to Bowden and Offer, water heaters hit 50% penetration in Britain in 1967.American Household Gadget Exceptionalism
February 7, 2013
How it came, how it was passed from hearth to hearth, defied our penetration.In the Valley
His eyes were the eyes of a scholar, dreamy yet alive with depth and penetration.The Long Voyage
Carl Richard Jacobi
She broke off suddenly, looking at him, her eyes a pair of gimlets now for penetration.The Lion's Skin
You do no credit to your own penetration, dear Mr. Ferdinand, if you deny it.Aunt Rachel
David Christie Murray
During his reign the problem of Turkish penetration was taken in hand.The Birth of Yugoslavia, Volume 1
- the act or an instance of penetrating
- the ability or power to penetrate
- keen insight or perception
- military an offensive manoeuvre that breaks through an enemy's defensive position
- Also called: market penetration the proportion of the total number of potential purchasers of a product or service who either are aware of its existence or actually buy it
- another name for depth of field
Word Origin and History for penetration
c.1600, "insight, shrewdness," from Latin penetrationem (nominative penetratio) "a penetrating or piercing," noun of action from past participle stem of penetrare (see penetrate). The sexual sense is attested from 1610s.