• IPA: /ˈpɛnɪtɹeɪt/

penetrate (penetrates, present participle penetrating; past and past participle penetrated)

  1. To enter into; to make way into the interior of; to pierce.
    Light penetrates darkness.
  2. (figuratively) To achieve understanding of, despite some obstacle; to comprehend; to understand.
    I could not penetrate Burke's opaque rhetoric.
    • things which here were too subtile for us to penetrate
  3. To affect profoundly through the senses or feelings; to move deeply.
    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.
  4. To infiltrate an enemy to gather intelligence.
  5. To insert the penis into an opening, such as a vagina or anus.
    a male elephant comes up and penetrates the female elephant
  6. (chess) To move a piece past the defending pieces of one's opponent.
Translations Translations

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