• synonyms


[verb pur-fuh-reyt; adjective pur-fer-it, -fuh-reyt]
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verb (used with object), per·fo·rat·ed, per·fo·rat·ing.
  1. to make a hole or holes through by boring, punching, piercing, or the like.
  2. to pierce through or to the interior of; penetrate.
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verb (used without object), per·fo·rat·ed, per·fo·rat·ing.
  1. to make a way through or into something; penetrate.
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  1. perforated.
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Origin of perforate

1530–40; < Latin perforātus, past participle of perforāre to bore2 through; see per-
Related formsper·for·a·ble, adjectiveper·fo·ra·tive, adjectiveper·fo·ra·tor, nounmul·ti·per·fo·rate, adjectivenon·per·fo·rat·ing, adjectiveun·per·for·a·ble, adjectiveun·per·fo·rat·ing, adjectiveun·per·fo·ra·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for perforate

puncture, permeate, pierce, probe, punch, drive, slit, stab, drill, penetrate, bore, pit, hole, honeycomb

Examples from the Web for perforate

Historical Examples of perforate

  • They perforate the nose and ears, and put various ornaments into them.

    Handbook to the new Gold-fields

    R. M. Ballantyne

  • Sometimes it is content to perforate them with a multitude of little holes.

    Thunder and Lightning

    Camille Flammarion

  • Their only resort, therefore, was to perforate it with their tomahawks.

  • What if she perforate her big India-rubber ball with the points of the scissors?

  • There are some galleries which have taken more than 30 years to perforate.

British Dictionary definitions for perforate


verb (ˈpɜːfəˌreɪt)
  1. to make a hole or holes in (something); penetrate
  2. (tr) to punch rows of holes between (stamps, coupons, etc) for ease of separation
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adjective (ˈpɜːfərɪt)
  1. biology
    1. pierced by small holesperforate shells
    2. marked with small transparent spots
  2. philately another word for perforated (def. 2)
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Derived Formsperforable (ˈpɜːfərəbəl), adjectiveperforative or perforatory, adjectiveperforator, noun

Word Origin for perforate

C16: from Latin perforāre, from per- through + forāre to pierce
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

Word Origin and History for perforate


late 15c. (implied in perforated), a back-formation from perforation or else from Latin perforatus, past participle of perforare "to bore through, pierce through." Related: Perforating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

perforate in Medicine


  1. To make a hole or holes in, as from injury, disease, or medical procedure.
  2. To pass into or through (a body structure or tissue).
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  1. Having been perforated.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.