- to pierce or pass into or through: The bullet penetrated the wall. The fog lights penetrated the mist.
- to enter the interior of: to penetrate a forest.
- to enter and diffuse itself through; permeate.
- to arrive at the truth or meaning of; understand; comprehend: to penetrate a mystery.
- to obtain a share of (a market): to penetrate the Canadian coffee market.
- to affect or impress (the mind or feelings) deeply.
- to extend influence, usually peacefully, into the affairs of (another country).
- to enter, reach, or pass through something, as by piercing: We penetrated to the interior of the Kasbah.
- to be diffused through something.
- to understand or read the meaning of something.
- to have a deep effect or impact on someone.
Origin of penetrate
SynonymsSee more synonyms for penetrate on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for penetrate
He remains busy trying to penetrate the shield with something much smarter.A Gift to the Jihadis: The Unseen Airport Security Threat
December 27, 2014
How secure could the border possibly be if 5-year-olds can penetrate it?Didn't Obama Hear Oregon’s Warning Shot on Immigration?
November 14, 2014
The leads in Blue Is the Warmest Color scissor in a dozen different positions but we never once see them penetrate each other.I Tried Cosmo’s Lesbian Sex Tips and They Were Terrible
July 30, 2014
There are some areas in the Bekaa Valley and Hermel where the government and the army have been unable to penetrate.Hezbollah Profits From Hash as Syria Goes to Pot
July 9, 2014
He planned to use the C4 explosives to make shaped changes with which he could penetrate armored car doors.Far-Right Texas Terrorist Planned Murder And Robbery Spree in the Name of ‘Liberty’
April 1, 2014
Into the darker secrets of the Book of Wishes we will not penetrate.The Intelligence Office (From "Mosses From An Old Manse")
Does a newspaper, even the ubiquitous Petit Journal, penetrate into these solitudes?The Roof of France
Angelique repeated the word very slowly, as if to penetrate its meaning.The Dream
This hole is to enable the syrup to penetrate the inside of the lemons.Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches
Nowadays, when one strives to penetrate things one is confounded.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
- to find or force a way into or through (something); pierce; enter
- to diffuse through (a substance); permeate
- (tr) to see throughtheir eyes could not penetrate the fog
- (tr) (of a man) to insert the penis into the vagina of (a woman)
- (tr) to grasp the meaning of (a principle, etc)
- (intr) to be understoodhis face lit up as the new idea penetrated
Word Origin and History for penetrate
1520s, from Latin penetratus, past participle of penetrare "to put or get into, enter into," related to penitus "within, inmost," penus "innermost part of a temple, store of food," penates "household gods." Related: Penetrated; penetrating.