• WordNet 3.6
    • n penetration the act of entering into or through something "the penetration of upper management by women"
    • n penetration the act (by a man) of inserting his penis into the vagina of a woman
    • n penetration an attack that penetrates into enemy territory
    • n penetration the depth to which something penetrates (especially the depth reached by a projectile that hits a target)
    • n penetration the ability to make way into or through something "the greater penetration of the new projectiles will result in greater injuries"
    • n penetration clear or deep perception of a situation
    • ***
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.
    • Penetration Acuteness; insight; sharp discoverment; sagacity; as, a person of singular penetration .
    • Penetration The act or process of penetrating, piercing, or entering; also, the act of mentally penetrating into, or comprehending, anything difficult. "And to each in ward part,
      With gentle penetration , though unseen,
      Shoots invisible virtue even to the deep."
      "A penetration into the difficulties of algebra."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Certain fireflies emit a light so penetrating that it can pass through flesh and wood.
    • n penetration The act of penetrating or piercing.
    • n penetration Power of penetrating; specifically, in gunnery, the depth a projectile will pass into any material against which it is fired. The penetration into earth or sand is generally expressed in feet; into armor or metal plating, in inches. The English “thick-plate formula,” now much used by artillerists, is , in which t = the penetration in inches, and E = the energy in foot-tons per inch of circumference of shot.
    • n penetration Mental acuteness; discernment; insight: as, a man of extraordinary penetration.
    • n penetration In optics: Of a microscope objective, its power of giving fairly distinct vision for points both inside and outside of its exact focus.
    • n penetration Of a telescope, its space-penetrating power, as Herschel called it—i. e. the number of times by which the distance of an observed star might be increased while still appearing of the same brightness in the telescope as it does to the naked eye. It is proportional to the square root of the illuminating power, and for an achromatic telescope is approximately equal to four times its aperture in inches.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Penetration the act or power of penetrating or entering: acuteness: discernment: the space-penetrating power of a telescope
    • ***


  • 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. penetratio,: cf. F. pénétration,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. penetrāre, -ātumpenes, within.


In literature:

These tapestries, well preserved in those parts where light has scarcely penetrated, are framed in bands of oak now black as ebony.
"Beatrix" by Honore de Balzac
No intelligence could penetrate the darkness of the Placid Gulf.
"Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard" by Joseph Conrad
And now the peeping light indiscreetly penetrated to the hem of a silken garment revealed by some disarrangement of the civet fur.
"The Yellow Claw" by Sax Rohmer
Not a button or a seam in our entire outfit escaped their penetrating gaze.
"Beasts, Men and Gods" by Ferdinand Ossendowski
They masked their penetration.
"To the Last Man" by Zane Grey
The faint twilight still illuminating the streets failed to penetrate here.
"The Filigree Ball" by Anna Katherine Green
And, he realized that snow and adverse winds can sometimes muffle even the penetrating bark of a collie.
"Further Adventures of Lad" by Albert Payson Terhune
And it is in this penetrative suggestion of life that the secret of that sweetness of his is to be found.
"The Renaissance" by Walter Pater
She felt the latter's keen, penetrating glance fixed on her.
"Virgin Soil" by Ivan S. Turgenev
In the Summer streams of ice-cold water flow over its surface, penetrating here and there by crevasses to unknown depths.
"The Prehistoric World" by E. A. Allen

In poetry:

I wish I knew just what to say,
To introduce this part;
Its on my mind both night and day,
It penetrates my heart.
"Children's Corner" by Frank Barbour Coffin
Original French:
Il pleure dans mon coeur
Comme il pleut sur la ville;
Quelle est ce langueur
Qui penetre mon coeur?
"Ariettes Oubliees" by Paul Verlaine
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
The pale-bright margins of the streams are seen by none;
Rushes and sweeps along the untamable flood on every side —
It penetrates and fills the cottagers' dwellings far and wide —
Water and land are blent in one.
"O'Hussey's Ode To The Maguire" by James Clarence Mangan
Oh, Ignorance!
Thou art fallen man's best friend! With thee he speeds
In frigid apathy along his way.
And never does the tear of agony
Burn down his scorching cheek; or the keen steel
Of wounded feeling penetrate his breast.
"Fragment" by Henry Kirke White
So I exist in all that doth surround
And penetrate me:--all this grassy ground,
These hidden paths, and many a copse of beech:
Clear water, that no clouding shadows reach:
You have become to me
Myself, because you are my memory.
"Joy" by Emile Verhaeren

In news:

A recent study on the North American Intelligent Building Controls (IBC) market shows that market penetration for building controls is only half that of Germany's and has the potential to double in size despite sales of $1.3 billion in 1998.
The Sunday Journal Sentinel has the highest readership penetration among the top 50 media markets in the nation.
With acute observation skills, a penetratingly insightful mind, and a versatile linguistic palette, she digs deeply into her subjects, exploring nuances and never accepting easy answers.
Penetration testing is an important part of any security consultant's toolkit.
A massive group of ants, all linked together, has an enhanced water-repellent ability such that the whole group can float while preventing water from penetrating the raft , Mlot said.
The boss might just be impressed if you penetrate the force field.
Since the pear industry still lacks a dwarfing rootstock, Dr Todd Einhorn is experimenting with ways to improve light penetration in standard pear trees.
Here is the most beautiful and penetrating piece of writing you'll come across today.
Someone emailed me about his satellite TV problem not being able to penetrate some trees.
For the past is a chaos of events and personalities into which we cannot penetrate.
To see how easy it is to seal pipe and HVAC penetrations, foundation cracks, rim joists and more, visit us at
Houston, said its Antelope-3 appraisal well in Papua New Guinea penetrated the top of the reservoir 217 ft high to prognosis, began flowing gas, and was shut-in .
Now and then, when conditions were ripe, some fiddle music might penetrate deep into the swamplands where his family had carved out a homestead.
Researchers use ground-penetrating radar to detect potential burial sites at the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Fla.
While the two-story office area of Minnesota-based Blow Molded Specialties was a total loss to fire, it did not penetrate the manufacturing portion of the 60,000-square-foot building.

In science:

The resulting metric has no coordinate singularities, penetrates the event horizon, reaches the physical singularity, and is manifestly time independent.
Simple excision of a black hole in 3+1 numerical relativity
Non-Quantized Penetration of Magnetic Field in the Vortex State of Superconductors: “Fractional” and “Negative” Vortices A.K.
Non-Quantized Penetration of Magnetic Field in the Vortex State of Superconductors
Figure 1 plots a typical behaviour we observe for the initial stages of the field penetration into relatively large thin-film samples (in this case, samples have diameter D ≈ 15µm and thickness h ≈0.1µm). Note that disks of this size adequately represent the corresponding properties of a macroscopic film.
Non-Quantized Penetration of Magnetic Field in the Vortex State of Superconductors
Therefore, we can study the penetration of an individual vortex at the same, well-defined, distance D/2 from the edge.
Non-Quantized Penetration of Magnetic Field in the Vortex State of Superconductors
Figure 2. Penetration and expulsion of the very first vortex in superconductors with various edge roughness.
Non-Quantized Penetration of Magnetic Field in the Vortex State of Superconductors