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verb British English pronunciation: penetrate /ˈpenəˌtreɪt/ 
Word Forms
present tense
present participlepenetrating
past tensepenetrated
past participlepenetrated
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to get inside an object or body by getting through something

    A piece of glass had penetrated the skin.

    1. a.
      to get inside an area by getting past something that is intended to stop you

      They had penetrated deep into enemy territory.

      One of them managed to penetrate airport security.

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to get through something into a place and be heard, seen, or felt by people in it

    Few sounds penetrate the thick walls.

  3. 3
    [intransitive/transitive] to reach or affect something such as a part of society

    one of the last cultures in the world that television has not penetrated

  4. 4
    [intransitive/transitive] to be noticed or understood by someone

    Their advice never even penetrated his consciousness.

    What she said didn't penetrate until just now.


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