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  1. pen·e·trate
    IPA[ˈpenəˌtrāt]
  2. verb

    • 1. succeed in forcing a way into or through (a thing):

      the shrapnel had penetrated his head and chest tunnels that penetrate deep into the earth's core
      Synonym : pierce, puncture, make a hole in, perforate, stab, prick, probe, gore, spike, stick, impale, transfix, bore (through), drill (through), lance
    • 2. (of a man) insert the penis into the vagina or anus of (a sexual partner).

    • 3. infiltrate (an enemy group or rival organization) in order to spy on it:

      they feared that their council had been penetrated by informers
      Synonym : infiltrate, slip into, sneak into, creep into, insinuate oneself into, worm one's way into, make inroads into, invade, intrude on, overrun
    • 4. (of a company) begin to sell its products in (a particular market or area):

      Honda has succeeded in penetrating Western motorcycle markets
    • 5. succeed in understanding or gaining insight into (something complex or mysterious):

      a magician who seemed to have penetrated the mysteries of nature
      Synonym : understand, comprehend, apprehend, fathom, grasp, perceive, discern, get to the bottom of, solve, resolve, make out, make sense of, interpret, puzzle out, work out, figure out, unravel, decipher, make head or tail of, crack, get, tumble to, latch onto, cotton onto, suss out, twig
    • 6. be fully understood or realized by someone:

      as his words penetrated, she saw a mental picture of him with Dawn
      Synonym : be understood, be comprehended, be taken in, be grasped, become clear, register, make an impression, get through, sink in, fall into place, dawn, come home, click
  3. Variation

    • v.: verb: penetrate, 3rd person present: penetrates, gerund or present participle: penetrating, past tense: penetrated, past participle: penetrated

    • verb

      go into or through (something), especially with force or effort:

      (of a man) insert the penis into the vagina or anus of (a sexual partner).

    • adjective

      able to make a way through or into something:

      (of a voice or sound) clearly heard through or above other sounds:

    • adjective

      able to make a way through or into something:

      (of a sound) clearly heard through or above other sounds:

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