- To penetrate is to pass into or through something.
An example of penetrate is when you force your way into a secured zone and successfully gain entry.
transitive verbpenetrated, penetrating
- to pass into; find or force a way into or through; enter by or as by piercing
- to insert the penis into (the vagina or anus) of
- to see into, or into the interior of: to penetrate the darkness
- to have an effect throughout; spread through; permeate
- to affect or move deeply
- to grasp mentally; understand
Origin of penetrate; from Classical Latin penetratus, past participle of penetrare, to pierce into, penetrate ; from base of penitus, inward, far within (; from penus, store of food, storeroom, sanctuary of temple of Vesta ; from Indo-European base an unverified form pen-, to feed, food) + (in)trare, enter
- to make a way into or through something; pierce
- to have a marked effect on the mind or emotions
verbpen·e·trat·ed, pen·e·trat·ing, pen·e·trates
- To enter, pass into, or force a way into: The needle penetrated the skin. Light penetrated the forest canopy. The soldiers penetrated enemy territory.
- a. To enter into and permeate: The sound of the piano penetrated each room of the house.b. To affect deeply, as by being known or by arousing the emotions: “Literature should penetrate all the chambers of the human heart, even the dark ones” (Robert Cormier).
- a. To insert the penis, a finger, or an object into the vagina or anus of (someone).b. To insert something into (the vagina or anus).
- To enter (an organization, for example), usually surreptitiously, so as to gain influence or information; infiltrate.
- To enter and gain a share of (a market): penetrated the home-computer market with an affordable new model.
- To grasp the significance of; understand: penetrate the workings of the immune system.
- To see through: keen eyes that penetrate the darkness.
- To enter or pass into something: The drill penetrated into the wood.
- To have an effect or influence, especially on the mind or emotions: The culture of celebrity has penetrated into everyone's awareness.
- To gain insight: tried to penetrate into the nature of the mind.
Origin of penetrateLatin penetrāre, penetrāt-, from penitus, deeply.
(third-person singular simple present penetrates, present participle penetrating, simple past and past participle penetrated)
- To enter into; to make way into the interior of; to pierce.
- Light penetrates darkness.
- (figuratively) To achieve understanding of, despite some obstacle; to comprehend; to understand.
- I could not penetrate Burke's opaque rhetoric.
- To affect profoundly through the senses or feelings; to move deeply.
- to penetrate one's heart with pity
- To infiltrate an enemy to gather intelligence.
- To insert the penis into an opening, such as a vagina or anus.