permeate [pur-mee-eyt] Word Origin verb (used with object), per·me·at·ed, per·me·at·ing.

  1. to pass into or through every part of: Bright sunshine permeated the room.
  2. to penetrate through the pores, interstices, etc., of.
  3. to be diffused through; pervade; saturate: Cynicism permeated his report.

verb (used without object), per·me·at·ed, per·me·at·ing.

  1. to become diffused; penetrate.

Origin of permeate 1650–60; Latin permeātus past participle of permeāre to pass through. See per-, meatus Related formsper·me·a·tion, nounper·me·a·tive, adjectiveper·me·a·tor, nounin·ter·per·me·ate, verb (used with object), in·ter·per·me·at·ed, in·ter·per·me·at·ing.non·per·me·a·tion, nounnon·per·me·a·tive, adjectiveun·per·me·at·ed, adjectiveun·per·me·at·ing, adjectiveun·per·me·a·tive, adjective British Dictionary definitions for permeative permeate verb

  1. to penetrate or pervade (a substance, area, etc)a lovely smell permeated the room
  2. to pass through or cause to pass through by osmosis or diffusionto permeate a membrane

Derived Formspermeation, nounpermeative, adjectiveWord Origin for permeate C17: from Latin permeāre, from per- through + meāre to pass Word Origin and History for permeative permeate v.

1650s, from Latin permeatus, past participle of permeare “to pass through” (see permeable). Related: Permeated; permeating.

permeative in Medicine permeate [pûr′mē-āt′] v.

  1. To spread or flow throughout; pervade.
  2. To pass through the openings or interstices of, as a liquid through a membrane.


  1. One that can permeate.

Related formsper′me•ant (-ənt) null adj.

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