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 (pər-vā′sĭv, -zĭv)
Having the quality or tendency to pervade or permeate: the pervasive odor of garlic.

[From Latin pervāsus, past participle of pervādere, to pervade; see pervade.]

per·va′sive·ly adv.
per·va′sive·ness n.




  1. As pervasive as a raging fever —Anon
  2. (Democracy and freedom began) bouncing all over (the world) like bad checks —Ishmael Reed
  3. Cover like a cold sweat —Anon
  4. He’s everywhere … like the mist, like some foul fog —William Diehl
  5. He was all over him, like a cheap suit —Mark Shields
  6. Penetrate [as through a barrier of complacency] … like the slippage of a dentist’s drill through novacaine —Clare Nowell
  7. Pervading [a woman’s special magic] as a spilled perfume, irresistible and sweet —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  8. (Egotism that seemed to) saturate them as toys are saturated with paint —O. Henry
  9. (Allowed my thoughts to) sink in like a spoon in a pudding [in order to gain insight] —William H. Gass
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.pervasiveness - the quality of filling or spreading throughout; "the pervasiveness of the odor of cabbage in tenement hallways"
generality - the quality of being general or widespread or having general applicability


n (of smell etc)durchdringender Charakter; (of influence, feeling, ideas)um sich greifender Charakter
References in classic literature ?
Add to this that there are two young Englanders in the house, who hate all the Americans in a lump, making between them none of the distinctions and favourable comparisons which they insist upon, and you will, I think, hold me warranted in believing that, between precipitate decay and internecine enmities, the English-speaking family is destined to consume itself; and that with its decline the prospect of general pervasiveness, to which I alluded above, will brighten for the deep-lunged children of the Fatherland!
Virginia Madsen never knew about the pervasiveness of the number 23 until she signed on to do the psychological thriller ``The Number 23.
Unexpectedly, Apfelbaum's cartoon garden here reads as camouflage, triggering memories of downtown gardens coated with ash in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and suggesting the pervasiveness of conflict.
By showing the pervasiveness of both Christian and post-Enlightenment ideology in everyday language, they strengthen the claim that the effectiveness of Tolkien's style derives from a deliberate and consistent avoidance of expressions referring specifically to modern concepts.
Rob sees an acne-ridden Italian American classmate bullied and ostracized by the "cruel snobs" at school, visits Harlem and a jazz club, and gradually becomes more aware of the pervasiveness of prejudice.
The intimacy discourse could probably not exist without the pervasiveness of therapeutic language in late 20th century American culture, with its emphasis upon communication.
The problem is compounded by the pervasiveness of e-mail, as evidenced by further findings that more than 60% of people check e-mail at home or on vacation, half respond to an e-mail within an hour of receiving it and 20% will interrupt business and social meetings in order to do so.
I've regretted this bitterly in the past, but the pervasiveness of the view is undeniable.
Past studies identified "intellectual and behavioral problems in children of parents who smoked but didn't determine the pervasiveness of exposure or the consequences of different degrees of exposure.
Although one criterion for selection was that an initial verdict was reached during the year, the pervasiveness of the charges and investigation launched by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer over contingent commissions and allegations of bid rigging demanded that they be included in the listing.
Microsoft's pervasiveness in corporate America and the CIO's growing role in business make these sessions "top of mind" for paper industry management.
Terrorism will be on a greater scale and pervasiveness than anyone could have ever predicted.