penetrate Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “penetrate” in the English Dictionary

"penetrate" in British English

See all translations

penetrateverb

uk   us   /ˈpen.ɪ.treɪt/

penetrate verb (MOVE INTO)

[I or T] to ​move into or through something: Amazingly, the ​bullet did not penetrate his ​brain. In a ​normalwinter, the ​frost penetrates ​deeply enough to ​kill off ​insecteggs in the ​soil. [ T] to ​succeed in ​becomingpart of an ​organization, etc. and ​working within it : The ​organization had been penetrated by a ​spy. The ​company has been ​successful in penetrating ​overseasmarkets this ​year (= it has ​startedsellingitsproducts in them). [I or T] to ​reach or ​affect something: These ​changes had not ​yet penetrated as ​farwest as the ​mountains of Merioneth. [T] If ​youreyes penetrate ​somewheredark, you ​manage to ​see through it: Our ​eyes couldn't penetrate the ​dark/the ​gloom of the ​innercave. [T] When a man penetrates his ​partner during ​sex, he puts his ​penis into his or her ​body.

penetrate verb (UNDERSTAND)

[I or T] to ​study or investigate something in ​order to ​understand it: It's hard to penetrate her ​mind. He penetrates ​deeper into the artist's ​life in the second ​volume of his ​autobiography.
(Definition of penetrate from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"penetrate" in American English

See all translations

penetrateverb [I/T]

 us   /ˈpen·ɪˌtreɪt/

penetrate verb [I/T] (MOVE)

to move into or through something: [I] The ​drill isn’t ​sharp enough to penetrate into the ​rock. [T] Women have ​begun to penetrate a lot of ​fields that were ​dominated by men for ​centuries.

penetrate verb [I/T] (UNDERSTAND)

to ​understand something, or to be ​understood as a ​result of ​study or investigation : [I] Her writing penetrated to the ​heart of ​contemporarylife.
penetration
noun [U]  us   /ˌpen·ɪˈtreɪ·ʃən/
The program’s penetration in Utah ​schoolsvaries from ​district to ​district.
(Definition of penetrate from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"penetrate" in Business English

See all translations

penetrateverb [T]

uk   us   /ˈpenɪtreɪt/ MARKETING, COMMERCE
to begin to ​sellproducts or ​services in a new ​area or to a new ​group of ​customers: The ​company is beginning to penetrate Asian ​markets.
(Definition of penetrate from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of penetrate?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day
coeducational

having male and female students being taught together in the same school or college rather than separately

Word of the Day