Definition of impregnate in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈɪmprɛɡneɪt/


[with object]
1Soak or saturate (something) with a substance: wood which had been impregnated with preservative
More example sentences
  • I'm sure there isn't a non-smoker among us who hasn't wretched as they've been engulfed in a plume of smoke from someone walking past, the fumes impregnating their clothes and hair with that familiar stale smell.
  • Dr John Harrison, a climate expert from the University of Stirling, says crops will fail before the land is flooded as salt impregnates the soil.
  • The smell of urine so deeply impregnated the furnishings and floors of the dayrooms that it seemed ineradicable (not that anyone tried to eradicate it).
infuse, soak, steep, saturate, drench;
permeate, suffuse, imbue, pervade, fill, load, charge
1.1Fill with a feeling or quality: an atmosphere impregnated with tension
More example sentences
  • It was just really impregnated with this horrible, horrible atmosphere.
  • Rather than receding, the hunger to recall what's passed imbues meaning in everything, animating the inanimate, impregnating empty space, and bending time.
2Make (a woman or female animal) pregnant: he was obliged to marry the woman he’d impregnated
More example sentences
  • At 15 she qualified to live by herself under state care, and it was while she was living in a Surrey duplex that she was impregnated.
  • Scorning marriage, she drafted a body builder to impregnate her before casting him aside as irrelevant to her new role as liberated mother-artiste.
  • Out of work, and desperate for cash, Armstrong receives an offer from his ex-girlfriend, Fatima, that if he impregnates her, she will pay him handsomely.
make pregnant, get pregnant, inseminate, fertilize
informal put in the family way
British informal get up the duff, put in the club, get up the spout, get up the stick
North American informal knock up
informal, dated get into trouble
archaic fecundate, get with child
2.1 Biology Fertilize (an ovum).
Example sentences
  • Abortion, or miscarriage, implies the premature expulsion of the contents of the impregnated Uterus.
  • There are thousands of millions of sperms that never impregnate eggs.



Pronunciation: /ɪmprɛɡˈneɪʃ(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • Nevertheless, the vast majority of servants seem to have escaped impregnation - illegitimacy rates were low, between 2 and 5 per cent.
  • Don't be surprised if in your lifetime the majority of your peers will consider you loony (if not irresponsible) for leaving impregnation up to pure chance-that quaint practice of sexual reproduction.
  • I mean, it's the time of the month for me that is perfect for impregnation and we haven't used protection,’ she pointed out.


Early 17th century (in the sense 'fill'; earlier (Middle English) as impregnation): from late Latin impregnat- 'made pregnant', from the verb impregnare.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: im|preg|nate

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.