- 1Succeed in forcing a way into or through (a thing): the shrapnel had penetrated his head and chest [no object]: tunnels that penetrate deep into the earth’s coreMore example sentences
- That was the last thing I remembered before a familiar voice penetrated my unconsciousness.
- The 16-year-old had a lock-knife thrust into him with such force it penetrated his chest and hit a lung.
- An important role in destroying an enemy force that has penetrated the defense is played by the ambush party.
- 1.2Infiltrate (an enemy group or rival organization) in order to spy on it: they feared that their council had been penetrated by informersMore 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.
- 1.3(Of a company) begin to sell its products in (a particular market or area): Honda has succeeded in penetrating Western motorcycle marketsMore 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.
- 1.4Succeed in understanding or gaining insight into (something complex or mysterious): a magician who seemed to have penetrated the mysteries of natureMore example sentences
- Those of us who have tried to penetrate the often baffling complexities of modern music have often had cause to be grateful to him for unravelling its mysteries.
- I felt I had finally penetrated William's menacing mask and gained some understanding of the workings of his mind.
- The key often symbolizes a mystery about to be penetrated or a stage on our pathway to discovery and enlightenment.
- 1.5 [no object] Be fully understood or realized by someone: as his words penetrated, she saw a mental picture of him with DawnMore example sentences
- The cold anger Geoff felt was pushed aside by concern as her words penetrated.
- Mel echoed, letting the words slowly penetrate.
- She's pretty, he thinks unexpectedly, but the thought is lost as her words penetrate.
mid 16th century: from Latin penetrat- 'placed or gone into', from the verb penetrare; related to penitus 'inner'.