[ verb pur-fuh-reyt; adjective pur-fer-it, -fuh-reyt ]
/ verb ˈpɜr fəˌreɪt; adjective ˈpɜr fər ɪt, -fəˌreɪt /

verb (used with object), per·fo·rat·ed, per·fo·rat·ing.

to make a hole or holes through by boring, punching, piercing, or the like.
to pierce through or to the interior of; penetrate.

verb (used without object), per·fo·rat·ed, per·fo·rat·ing.

to make a way through or into something; penetrate.


Origin of perforate

1530–40; < Latin perforātus, past participle of perforāre to bore2 through; see per-

OTHER WORDS FROM perforate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for perforate

British Dictionary definitions for perforate


verb (ˈpɜːfəˌreɪt)

to make a hole or holes in (something); penetrate
(tr) to punch rows of holes between (stamps, coupons, etc) for ease of separation

adjective (ˈpɜːfərɪt)

  1. pierced by small holesperforate shells
  2. marked with small transparent spots
philately another word for perforated (def. 2)

Derived forms of perforate

perforable (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

Medical definitions for perforate

[ pûrfə-rāt′ ]


To make a hole or holes in, as from injury, disease, or medical procedure.
To pass into or through (a body structure or tissue).


Having been perforated.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.