Definition of penetrating in English:

penetrating

adjective

  • 1Able to make a way through or into something.

    ‘the problem of penetrating damp’
    • ‘The peninsula is sandwiched between two sea lochs, Loch Fyne to the west and Loch Long to the east - the latter penetrating inland from the Firth of Clyde.’
    • ‘The mechanisms often seize through lack of use, but with the wiper motor removed - a relatively simple task - it's possible to get to the problem areas and apply penetrating oil.’
    • ‘Nor is it contended that it results from rising damp or penetrating damp.’
    • ‘No longer will your home be plagued by the penetrating effervescence that periodically resounds from the smallest room in the house.’
    • ‘It was really cold, with a sneaky, penetrating breeze to provide an extra wind-chill.’
    • ‘As I stood outside the store, battered by the merciless, penetrating wind, I was reminded of days when I'd wear two pairs of pyjamas under my uniform in a vain attempt to keep warm.’
    • ‘Although alpha particles are not a very penetrating form of radiation, when inside the body they can do significant harm to any living cells they happen to pass through.’
    • ‘Driven by a penetrating east wind, it drifted until every hollow and depression was filled and the landscape assumed the appearance of a vast white prairie.’
    • ‘More often she presents her men and women with such a penetrating, somber empathy that a deliberate affective claustrophobia seizes the reader.’
    • ‘As it happens, she plays a fierce doubles game, with a steady serve, a sure overhead, penetrating volleys and an occasional blazing return of serve.’
    • ‘Infrared is particularly effective for penetrating thick, murky regions of space and revealing what lies beyond.’
    • ‘I started wondering about this penetrating chemical presence when some vile organic substance bubbled up from a clogged pipe in our basement floor the day after we moved in.’
    • ‘I rushed into the living room to see poor Graham getting well and truly damp in a fine, penetrating rain.’
    • ‘The sound system rolls out bass like a living beast, penetrating flesh and rattling the ribs beneath.’
    • ‘Acid or chemical stain is a penetrating stain that chemically etches the color into the concrete for a permanent marble like finish.’
    • ‘It's turned suddenly rather cold, in that penetrating way that gets into the bones and takes an awful lot of shifting.’
    • ‘We're looking for ways of penetrating that economic community in an economic fashion.’
    • ‘The puma nodded once and stepped outside into the penetrating cold.’
    • ‘A nasty, penetrating wind, and the sting of snizzle in the air once more.’
    • ‘He has a low, soulful voice with penetrating anger and smarts.’
    pungent, pervasive, strong, powerful, suffocating, stifling
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    1. 1.1 (of a sound) clearly heard through or above other sounds.
      ‘her scream was sudden and penetrating’
      • ‘Some of these songs have a varying beat and indications of some intelligent musicianship, not like the penetrating bass that thunders out from cars and flats wherever you go.’
      • ‘The wooden door burst open as if a bomb exploded behind it, the sound penetrating through the already deafening silence.’
      • ‘Opening her mouth Lula bellowed a penetrating snarl as her fist drove into the wall hammering a hole through it.’
      • ‘Tim sat upright at the penetrating noise and flipped in his hammock.’
      • ‘Delivering six full songs and other song fragments, her penetrating chest voice and her haunting ornaments in piquant modes were simply stunning.’
      • ‘In an instant, he is there once more, with his familiar, intense, penetrating, braying sound.’
      • ‘The penetrating whine of the fighter-bombers and the blast of the missiles overwhelm my brain, robbing me of both understanding and psyche.’
      • ‘He created music of penetrating sadness and beauty, and with only four solo albums released in his career, he had much more to offer.’
      • ‘Simplistic chord structures and things just very impressive in the way that a lot of old heavy metal music is very penetrating and domineering and drowns things out.’
      • ‘Its penetrating tone could carry far and rise above the fracas.’
      • ‘The horns are very penetrating and to many it is a public nuisance.’
      shrill, strident, piercing, carrying, clearly audible, loud, strong, high, high-pitched, piping, ear-piercing, ear-splitting, screechy, intrusive
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    2. 1.2 (of a person's eyes or expression) reflecting an apparent ability to see into another's mind; intense.
      ‘her penetrating gaze’
      • ‘He wore a long, rough-looking, black cloak and looked out at you from under his hood with deep brown, penetrating eyes.’
      • ‘One of the men was clearly a young Bill, with the same penetrating eyes and subdued smile.’
      • ‘He stared at her, his piercing, penetrating gaze shooting right through her, reading her like a book.’
      • ‘I've never seen a child with such cold, penetrating eyes.’
      • ‘I looked at the doctor with penetrating eyes and declared, ‘I'll have this baby by midnight!’’
      • ‘Bobby peered into those pale, penetrating eyes, sort of shrugged and gave her a feeble chipmunk smile.’
      • ‘Her penetrating eyes landed on her small, black school bag.’
      • ‘The flames of the many candles were mirrored in his deep, penetrating eyes.’
      • ‘At her mother's penetrating stare, she muttered, ‘sorry’ and inhaled deeply.’
      • ‘His hair is a light brown, with very penetrating eyes, and a slightly brooding look.’
      • ‘They call him a nobleman, but I knew that you, who see people so clearly with your penetrating eyes, would see him for what he was.’
      • ‘Only at nights did he fear the penetrating eyes of his wife.’
      • ‘He was fairly short, a trifle rotund, with dark penetrating eyes that had a way of roving mercurially over objects under surveillance.’
      • ‘Above all, a viewer is made very conscious of the penetrating power of the artist's eyes as he stares into the mirror.’
      • ‘There were no secrets that could hide from his penetrating eyes.’
      • ‘I tried very hard that day, but I could not hear what she heard in his voice nor see what she saw in his starkly penetrating eyes.’
      • ‘He was immediately distinguished by his diminutive figure, extremely long white beard, and dark, penetrating eyes.’
      • ‘They tend to feel warm, have somewhat oily skin, penetrating eyes, and sharp features.’
      • ‘Or maybe I'm looking at this with a much more penetrating eye than is needed.’
      • ‘Her penetrating eyes moved to the two siblings, who apparently caught some hidden meaning that Evelyn didn't at watching the elder's haunting gaze.’
      observant, searching, intent, alert, shrewd, perceptive, probing, piercing, sharp, keen
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    3. 1.3 Having or showing clear insight.
      ‘the students asked some penetrating questions’
      • ‘You have to be open to a penetrating insight deeply imbedded in the stuff of language.’
      • ‘What is this penetrating insight that leads us to the direct experience of emptiness?’
      • ‘And they asked these kind of penetrating questions that make you understand they really know what's going on.’
      • ‘The book ends by posing and answering a series of lucid and penetrating questions that are aimed at about the level of undergraduates and informed general readers.’
      • ‘By depending on the religious inclination of the general public he has evinced extremely penetrating insight.’
      • ‘Note the dramatic narrative and implicit autobiography that emerge from this penetrating insight.’
      • ‘He had not expected such a penetrating question so quickly.’
      • ‘Expert adversaries, who have the right to receive public answers to their most penetrating questions, police the scientific method.’
      • ‘To several cohorts of students in Social Studies 10, I can only say that I learned more from your penetrating questions than I probably ever taught you in tutorial.’
      • ‘As with all aggregate health care data, these statistics were not designed to answer the most penetrating questions.’
      • ‘And I asked him penetrating questions everybody told me not to ask him because that is my nature.’
      • ‘And it's not quite the penetrating insight into the human condition it thinks it is, either.’
      • ‘How could a penetrating or insightful script emerge from such a process, which is more than anything else the working out of different financial and corporate arrangements?’
      • ‘His penetrating insights into aspects of health policy during the 1950s and 1960s are unsurpassed.’
      • ‘It is not a pedagogical treatise, it is the reflections of an artist upon art in aphorisms of penetrating insight, ready wit, and profound wisdom.’
      • ‘He or she allows employees to think for themselves by encouraging them to show initiative, to think critically, to ask penetrating questions about their work.’
      • ‘My discovery, disconcerting though it was, gave me a penetrating insight into style.’
      • ‘He has, with sheer penetrating insight, portrayed the decadent values and human failings of his times in simple but effective words.’
      • ‘He had both the subtle mind of the metaphysician and the penetrating insight of the disillusioned moralist.’
      • ‘Instead, he is most often regarded as a man of penetrating insight.’
      perceptive, insightful, keen, sharp, sharp-witted, quick-witted, intelligent, clever, smart, incisive, piercing, knife-like, razor-edged, trenchant, astute, shrewd, subtle, quick, ready, clear, acute, discriminating, percipient, perspicacious, discerning, sensitive, thoughtful, penetrative, deep, profound
      enquiring, searching, sharp, incisive, probing, deep, inquisitive, analytic, in-depth
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Pronunciation

penetrating

/ˈpɛnɪtreɪtɪŋ/