Definition of penetration in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌpenəˈtrāSH(ə)n/


1The action or process of making a way through or into something: the plant grows in clear, still waters where there is strong sunlight penetration
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  • Principal office spaces are orientated to face north and south, so minimizing penetration of direct sunlight.
  • There is a large amount of debris and silt in the central valley gutter and this requires cleaning as soon as possible, since as we discuss later, there appears to have been problems with rain water penetration through the gutter system.
  • Third, cut out sufficient of the last year's branch growth to evenly space all branches, allowing even sunlight penetration throughout the treetop.
perforation, piercing, puncturing, puncture, stabbing, pricking
1.1The insertion by a man of his penis into the vagina or anus of a sexual partner.
1.2The successful selling of a company’s or country’s products in a particular market or area: Japanese import penetration
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  • In Latin America and in some emerging markets in Southeast Asia, direct selling penetration and our market share are unbelievably strong.
  • As a response to these impediments and to increase domestic sales, the company was making efforts to improve penetration into remote areas of the country.
  • The situation can only sharpen as the rivalries between the major powers driven by the crisis of capitalist production leads to more direct imperialist penetration of Africa and other areas of world.
1.3The extent to which a product is recognized and bought by customers in a particular market: the software has attained a high degree of market penetration
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  • Personalization was present in the overseas market penetration process to provide customers with added value in spite of distance.
  • Television sales throughout the last decade indicate a stable market penetration rate and relatively flat sales.
  • But the market penetration of content security products is about 30%.
2The perceptive understanding of complex matters: the survey shows subtlety and penetration
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  • It justified this penetration by reference to the satisfaction of popular desires, and the freedom of the press to enlighten the public.


Late Middle English: from Latin penetratio(n-), from the verb penetrare 'place within or enter'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pen·e·tra·tion

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