Definition of penetrate in English:


Line breaks: pene|trate
Pronunciation: /ˈpɛnɪtreɪt


[with object]
  • 2Gain access to (an organization, place, or system), especially when this is difficult to do: M15 had been penetrated by Russian intelligence
    More example sentences
    • New Orleans was perhaps distinctive in the extreme savagery of its ghettos, and the inability of civic organizations to penetrate poor areas.
    • All of the aid in the world cannot penetrate political systems which are rife with corruption and nepotism.
    • They could be exploits that would allow military intelligence to penetrate military systems.
  • 2.1(Of a company) begin to sell its products in (a particular market or area): the company has succeeded in penetrating Western motorcycle markets
    More example sentences
    • Determine how this initiative is going to help your firm make more money, sell more products, penetrate new markets, or increase shareholder wealth.
    • In the first quarter of this year, the order placement from China increased to around 120,000 tons partly because the company stressed penetrating the Chinese market.
    • Many low-grade products are penetrating the Thai market and were popular among local people because of lower prices.


mid 16th century: from Latin penetrat- 'placed or gone into', from the verb penetrare; related to penitus 'inner'.

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