Share this entry

Share this page

penetrating

Line breaks: pene|trat¦ing
Pronunciation: /ˈpɛnɪtreɪtɪŋ
 
/

Definition of penetrating in English:

adjective

1Able to make a way through or into something: the problem of penetrating damp
More example sentences
  • Nor is it contended that it results from rising damp or penetrating damp.
  • He has a low, soulful voice with penetrating anger and smarts.
  • I rushed into the living room to see poor Graham getting well and truly damp in a fine, penetrating rain.
Synonyms
pungent, pervasive, strong, powerful, suffocating, stifling;
sharp, acrid, acid, sour, biting, stinging, burning, smarting, irritating, nauseating, nauseous, sickly, offensive, astringent, bitter, fetid, cloying;
heady, aromatic, flowery, fragrant
literary mephitic
1.1(Of a sound) clearly heard through or above other sounds: her scream was sudden and penetrating
More example sentences
  • Tim sat upright at the penetrating noise and flipped in his hammock.
  • In an instant, he is there once more, with his familiar, intense, penetrating, braying sound.
  • Its penetrating tone could carry far and rise above the fracas.
Synonyms
shrill, strident, piercing, carrying, clearly audible, loud, strong, high, high-pitched, piping, ear-piercing, ear-splitting, screechy, intrusive
1.2(Of a person’s eyes or expression) reflecting an apparent ability to see into another’s mind; intense: her penetrating gaze
More example sentences
  • Her penetrating eyes moved to the two siblings, who apparently caught some hidden meaning that Evelyn didn't at watching the elder's haunting gaze.
  • They tend to feel warm, have somewhat oily skin, penetrating eyes, and sharp features.
  • He was immediately distinguished by his diminutive figure, extremely long white beard, and dark, penetrating eyes.
Synonyms
observant, searching, intent, alert, shrewd, perceptive, probing, piercing, sharp, keen
1.3Having or showing clear insight: the students asked some penetrating questions
More example sentences
  • It is not a pedagogical treatise, it is the reflections of an artist upon art in aphorisms of penetrating insight, ready wit, and profound wisdom.
  • Instead, he is most often regarded as a man of penetrating insight.
  • Note the dramatic narrative and implicit autobiography that emerge from this penetrating insight.
Synonyms

Derivatives

penetratingly

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • he asked again, his eyes gazing penetratingly at the fair-skinned girl with an oval face, her hair cut short to reveal the nape of her neck.
  • I realize I am helpless in the face of such penetratingly gauche cluelessness, and thus, I do the only thing I can do.
  • Because, believe me, the nights up here get penetratingly cold.

Definition of penetrating in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day jaunt
Pronunciation: dʒɔːnt
noun
a short excursion or journey made for pleasure