Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Wikipedia.


v. pen·e·trat·ed, pen·e·trat·ing, pen·e·trates
1. To enter, pass into, or force a way into: The needle penetrated the skin. Light penetrated the forest canopy. The soldiers penetrated enemy territory.
a. To enter into and permeate: The sound of the piano penetrated each room of the house.
b. To affect deeply, as by being known or by arousing the emotions: "Literature should penetrate all the chambers of the human heart, even the dark ones" (Robert Cormier).
a. To insert the penis, a finger, or an object into the vagina or anus of (someone).
b. To insert something into (the vagina or anus).
4. To enter (an organization, for example), usually surreptitiously, so as to gain influence or information; infiltrate.
5. To enter and gain a share of (a market): penetrated the home-computer market with an affordable new model.
6. To grasp the significance of; understand: penetrate the workings of the immune system.
7. To see through: keen eyes that penetrate the darkness.
1. To enter or pass into something: The drill penetrated into the wood.
2. To have an effect or influence, especially on the mind or emotions: The culture of celebrity has penetrated into everyone's awareness.
3. To gain insight: tried to penetrate into the nature of the mind.

[Latin penetrāre, penetrāt-, from penitus, deeply.]

pen′e·tra′tor n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.penetrator - an intruder who passes into or through (often by overcoming resistance)
interloper, intruder, trespasser - someone who intrudes on the privacy or property of another without permission
References in periodicals archive ?
To test a bullet's hardness, you place the bullet on the tester base and screw down the penetrator until the indicator aligns with the "set" line on the scale.
The Pentagon says it will soon complete building a massive "bunker buster" bomb, officially called the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), that can penetrate deep underground facilities--like, just possibly, Iran's uranium enrichment plants located at Natanz and Fordo.
As The Penetrator, Reah became the region's first male lap-dancer in January 2002.
It's important for armorers to check if they have unlined barrels because they wear out 80 percent faster than lined barrels and fire saboted light armor penetrator (SLAP) ammo very inaccurately.
6 million to study development of a Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, the "bunker-buster" bomb.
In Operation Desert Storm, one such penetrator reportedly pierced two Iraqi T-72 tanks parked side-by-side.
It has a dual-mode penetrator and blast-fragmentation warhead.
The penetrator must get up the field to create a rush lane for the looper.
Mensah-Bonsu is the best penetrator, but with 24 assists and 52 turnovers, he has a wild streak.
It had been spray-painted to look like metal and had even been named Penetrator 4.
In the test, a standard specimen is jolted while bearing the full weight of a cone penetrator and the number of jolts until failure is counted.