penetrate

[ pen-i-treyt ]
/ ˈpɛn ɪˌtreɪt /

verb (used with object), pen·e·trat·ed, pen·e·trat·ing.

verb (used without object), pen·e·trat·ed, pen·e·trat·ing.

Origin of penetrate

1520–30; < Latin penetrātus (past participle of penetrāre), equivalent to penet-, variant stem of penitus deep down + -r- (probably by analogy with intus inside: intrāre to enter) + -ātus + -ate1

Related forms

pen·e·tra·tor, nounpre·pen·e·trate, verb (used with object), pre·pen·e·trat·ed, pre·pen·e·trat·ing.un·pen·e·trat·ed, adjective

Synonym study

1. See pierce.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for penetrate

British Dictionary definitions for penetrate

penetrate

/ (ˈpɛnɪˌtreɪt) /

verb

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

Derived Forms

Word Origin for penetrate

C16: from Latin penetrāre; related to penitus inner, and penus the interior of a house
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