• WordNet 3.6
    • v penetrate become clear or enter one's consciousness or emotions "It dawned on him that she had betrayed him","she was penetrated with sorrow"
    • v penetrate come to understand
    • v penetrate pass into or through, often by overcoming resistance "The bullet penetrated her chest"
    • v penetrate spread or diffuse through "An atmosphere of distrust has permeated this administration","music penetrated the entire building","His campaign was riddled with accusations and personal attacks"
    • v penetrate insert the penis into the vagina or anus of "Did the molester penetrate the child?"
    • v penetrate make one's way deeper into or through "The hikers did not manage to penetrate the dense forest"
    • v penetrate enter a group or organization in order to spy on the members "The student organization was infiltrated by a traitor"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Starch is used as a binder in the production of paper. It is the use of a starch coating that controls ink penetration when printing. Cheaper papers do not use as much starch, and this is why your elbows get black when you are leaning over your morning paper.
    • Penetrate To affect profoundly through the senses or feelings; to touch with feeling; to make sensible; to move deeply; as, to penetrate one's heart with pity. "The translator of Homer should penetrate himself with a sense of the plainness and directness of Homer's style."
    • Penetrate To enter into; to make way into the interior of; to effect an entrance into; to pierce; as, light penetrates darkness.
    • v. i Penetrate To pass; to make way; to pierce. Also used figuratively. "Preparing to penetrate to the north and west.""Born where Heaven's influence scarce can penetrate .""The sweet of life that penetrates so near."
    • Penetrate To pierce into by the mind; to arrive at the inner contents or meaning of, as of a mysterious or difficult subject; to comprehend; to understand. "Things which here were too subtile for us to penetrate ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Certain fireflies emit a light so penetrating that it can pass through flesh and wood.
    • penetrate To pierce into or through; enter and make way into the inner or interior parts of: as, the rays of light penetrated the thick darkness of the cave.
    • penetrate To enter and affect deeply; influence; impress; hence, to enter and become part of; permeate: as, to be penetrated with a sense of gratitude.
    • penetrate To arrive at the inner contents or the meaning of; see through; discern; discover: as, to penetrate a mystery; to penetrate a design.
    • penetrate Synonyms Penetrate, Pierce, Perforate, Bore through, Transfix. Penetrate may mean no more than to make entrance into, and that slowly or with some difficulty, or it may have the meaning of pierce. Pierce means to penetrate deeply and quickly, and therefore presumably, although not necessarily, with some sharp instrument. (See Heb. iv. 12.) Perforate and bore through mean to make a hole through, the former generally expressing the making of a smaller hole, the latter expressing sustained labor or slowness: as, the book-worm perforates leather binding; the carpenter bores through a beam; a bullet perforates or pierces the body. To transfix is to pierce through, the instrument remaining in that which is transfixed: as, to transfix a bird with an arrow; to transfix a butterfly with a pin.
    • penetrate To enter by piercing; pass, as a piercing instrument; enter and make way; reach by piercing: literally or figuratively: usually followed by to or into.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Penetrate pen′ē-trāt to thrust into the inside: to pierce into: to affect the mind or feelings: to enter and to fill: to understand: to find out
    • v.i Penetrate to make way: to pass inwards
    • ***


  • Walter Benjamin
    “Separation penetrates the disappearing person like a pigment and steeps him in gentle radiance.”
  • William J. Durant
    “Tired mothers find that spanking takes less time than reasoning and penetrates sooner to the seat of the memory.”
  • Gerard De Nerval
    Gerard De Nerval
    “Our dreams are a second life. I have never been able to penetrate without a shudder those ivory or horned gates which separate us from the invisible world.”
  • Niccolo Machiavelli
    “Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration.”
  • Igor Stravinsky
    Igor Stravinsky
    “Is it not by love alone that we succeed in penetrating to the very essence of being?”
  • Sir Thomas Beecham
    Sir Thomas Beecham
    “Great music is that which penetrates the ear with facility and leaves the memory with difficulty. Magical music never leaves the memory.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. penetratus, p. p. of penetrare, to penetrate; akin to penitus, inward, inwardly, and perh. to pens, with, in the power of, penus, store of food, innermost part of a temple


In literature:

The king's large, brilliant eyes glanced around the whole assembly, with a quick, penetrating look.
"Henry VIII And His Court" by Louise Muhlbach
The idea of farewell perhaps dimly penetrated to him.
"Literary Friends And Acquaintances" by William Dean Howells
It made Gudrun faint with poignant dizziness, which seemed to penetrate to her heart.
"Women in Love" by D. H. Lawrence
A body of men penetrating it might easily be ambushed.
"Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, Complete" by Ulysses S. Grant
Kiomi stood for freedom, pointing into the darkness I wished to penetrate that I might find him.
"The Adventures of Harry Richmond, Complete" by George Meredith
He was therefore unable to penetrate the mystery of our roundabout way of enlivening him.
"Beauchamp's Career, Complete" by George Meredith
But she penetrated the breast of Mr. Thomas Redworth as well, mentally tore his mask of friendship to shreds.
"Diana of the Crossways, Complete" by George Meredith
As for Tom, his whole night had been one long bath, in which he had been exposed to the penetrating effects of the sea air and the fog.
"Lost in the Fog" by James De Mille
A body of men penetrating it might easily be ambushed.
"Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete" by U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan
The second objection is derived from the necessity there would be of PENETRATION, if extension consisted of mathematical points.
"A Treatise of Human Nature" by David Hume

In poetry:

Swift as the lightnings blaze
When aweful thunders roll,
It fills the conscience with amaze,
And penetrates the soul.
"The Word Quick And Powerful" by John Newton
There is a smile of practiced art,
More false than treason's kiss;
But penetrate that dual heart,
And hear the serpent's hiss.
"Smiles." by Alfred Castner King
Our God is nigh;
He watches all we think or do:
Rolls o'er all time His penetrating eye,
And tracks the round our steps pursue.
"God always nigh" by John Bowring
But rays from Heaven, white and whole,
May penetrate the gloom of earth;
And tears but nourish, in your soul,
The glory of celestial mirth.
"As Winds That Blow Against A Star" by Alfred Joyce Kilmer
"'We do accept it: lower than the shoals
We skim, this diver went, nor did create,
But find it for us deeper in our souls
Than we can penetrate.'
"Honours -- Part I" by Jean Ingelow
And build new fires, and gather dewy flowers,
Let the pure air into the vacant room,
So light, and bloom, and sweetness, all
Shall penetrate its gloom.
"The Criminal's Betrothed" by Marietta Holley

In news:

A Dermatological View—Percutaneous Penetration of Amino Acids
We often camp in areas where the dirt is very hard to penetrate.
The boss might just be impressed if you penetrate the force field.
Congolese rebels penetrate Goma, take airport .
JERUSALEM (AP) — For the first time in at least six years, a hostile aircraft has penetrated Israel's airspace .
JERUSALEM (AP) — For the first time in at least six years, a hostile aircraft has penetrated Israel's airspace.
Hung from the ceiling above a series of curled acrylic photographs, light from the Aliens penetrates the photos stretching the figure out onto the wall behind.
His long-range shooting and scoring ability will spread the floor and open up the lane for penetrations Gordon should be able to exploit.
Peter's goals in joining the Selecon team are to consolidate Selecon's position as the number one supplier of theatrical luminaires, increase brand recognition and market penetration in the Australian market.
Polar rover Yeti, equipped with ground-penetrating radar, checks out Greenland.
Jacek Blawut takes a fast-paced, if not always penetrating, look at the 'pilots' fighting Europe's WWII air battles via computer and an elaborate multiplayer game.
Egyptian protesters penetrate barrier at Mursi's palace.
None of Bend 's companies have yet become the kind of high-profile acquisition that penetrates the national consciousness.
As opposed to seasoning the surface of the meat, brining — immersing the chops in what amounts to a seasoned saltwater bath — not only allows the seasoning to penetrate the whole chop , it aids in retaining moisture.
Coordinated Taliban Raid Penetrates Base.

In science:

Even if X-rays are used, the final test is to be done with neutrons, since only neutrons can penetrate the bulk of the crystal and reveal hidden misaligned grains.
Crystals for neutron scattering studies of quantum magnetism
Therefore, the monotonic points θ = 0 and θ = 3π are penetrable for the scalaron field θ .
The Compactification Problems of Additional Dimensions in Multidimensional Cosmological Theories
Bellows for QEXT tunability. For many accelerators it is necessary to tune the coupling by changing the penetration of the antenna in the pipe.
Power coupling
The penetration length λ and coherence distance ξ are such that R ≫ λ, ξ .
Quantum Magnetomechanics with Levitating Superconducting Microspheres
Steve Carlip for correspondence and for his penetrating comments and suggestions on the draft.
On the General Kerr/CFT Correspondence in Arbitrary Dimensions