Definition of penetrative in English:


Syllabification: pen·e·tra·tive
Pronunciation: /ˈpeniˌtrātiv


  • 1Able to make a way into or through something: the gunpowder weapons have extra penetrative power
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    • Once large-caliber explosive shells become the norm in the 1880s and 1890s, however, it was rare for the resistive power of a ship's armor to equal the penetrative power of its biggest guns.
    • File was the main battle formation for infantry, its formation in depth increased the troops' penetrative power yet claimed too many lives.
    • The penetrative, unremitting power of her PR had so convinced the newspapers, and through them everyone, including many of my fellow scientists, that my own truths counted for nothing.
  • 1.1(Of sexual activity) in which a man inserts his penis into the vagina or anus of a sexual partner.
  • 2Having or showing deep understanding and insight: a remarkably thorough and penetrative survey of the organization’s work
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    • There are no other thinkers of that period, the 19th century, who really had such a penetrative insight into the relationship between ecological crises and the construction of our society.
    • In penetrative insight practice, the settled mind itself is scrupulously and silently examined to realize its true nature.
    • Although courteous and well informed, the questioning is invariably sharp and penetrative, determined to deliver the best to the reader.

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