Definition of penetrating in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpɛnɪtreɪtɪŋ/


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.
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.
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.
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.



Pronunciation: /ˈpɛnɪtreɪtɪŋli/
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.
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