- able or tending to penetrate; piercing; sharp: a penetrating shriek; a penetrating glance.
- acute; discerning: a penetrating observation.
- Surgery. noting a wound that pierces the skin, especially a deep wound entering an organ or body cavity.
Origin of penetrating
SynonymsSee more synonyms for penetrating on Thesaurus.com
- 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 penetrating
His brown eyes were penetrating yet peaceful, and he immediately disarmed my nervousness with his gentleness.When Gary Wright Met George Harrison: Dream Weaver, John and Yoko, and More
September 29, 2014
And I have found peace in this land of sun, sand, conflict, religion, history, and penetrating eyes.
His penetrating gaze and rich voice made you believe him; whatever it was he was selling, you bought it.Heroin: America’s Silent Assassin
Dr. Anand Veeravagu, MD, Robert M. Lober, MD, PhD
February 3, 2014
This penetrating style of portraiture works on the subtlest of emotional responses as well.Into the Woods With Virginia Woolf: Emily Perkins and ‘The Forrests’
September 19, 2012
It also illustrates the perils of penetrating al Qaeda networks in Afghanistan and Pakistan.Khost CIA Attack: Lessons One Year Later
December 29, 2010
And have you not before now said, that nothing is so penetrating as the eye of a lover who has vanity?Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
It was a luxury so penetrating and powerful that it affected him like an opiate.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
He was losing all assurance, both fear and rage were penetrating him.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
With his death from the penetrating gas, something had gone wrong with the engine.City of Endless Night
They left the choice to her penetrating wit, and her tried discretion.Imogen
- tending to or able to penetratea penetrating mind; a penetrating voice
- 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 penetrating
"touching the feelings intensely," 1630s, figurative present participle adjective from penetrate (v.).
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.