• synonyms


[pen-i-truh nt]
See more synonyms for penetrant on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person or thing that penetrates.
  2. a compound that penetrates the skin, as a lotion or cream.
  3. a substance that lowers the surface tension of water; wetting agent.
  4. Zoology. a large nematocyst discharging a barbed thread that penetrates the body of the prey and injects a toxic fluid.
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  1. penetrating.
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Origin of penetrant

1535–45; < Latin penetrant- (stem of penetrāns), present participle of penetrāre to penetrate; see -ant
Related formsun·pen·e·trant, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for penetrant

trenchant, biting, piercing, clear-cut, pointed, crisp, cutting, shrill, carrying, intrusive, pervasive, pungent, sharp, strong, ingoing, penetrant

Examples from the Web for penetrant

Historical Examples of penetrant

  • Then he raised his eyes from the water and swept the sky in a penetrant gaze.

    The Harvester

    Gene Stratton Porter

  • "What he doesn't sell he buys," he cried in his nervous, penetrant tones.

  • With Mr. Tassers penetrant and suspicious gaze on him, he decided that it would be wise to avoid all seeming interest in Myron.

    Full-Back Foster

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • The dew lay heavy on the laurel leaves of the thickets, and the breeze was perfumed with the penetrant fragrance of many blossoms.

  • Sharp shoe-calks afford a means of infliction of penetrant wounds which may occasion open joint and infectious arthritis.

    Lameness of the Horse

    John Victor Lacroix

British Dictionary definitions for penetrant


  1. sharp; penetrating
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  1. chem a substance that lowers the surface tension of a liquid and thus causes it to penetrate or be absorbed more easily
  2. a person or thing that penetrates
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012