- able or tending to penetrate; piercing; sharp: a penetrating shriek; a penetrating glance.
- acute; discerning: a penetrating observation.
- Surgery. noting a wound that pierces the skin, especially a deep wound entering an organ or body cavity.
- tending to or able to penetratea penetrating mind; a penetrating voice
adj.“touching the feelings intensely,” 1630s, figurative present participle adjective from penetrate (v.).