Definition of penetrative in English:



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

    ‘the gunpowder weapons have extra penetrative power’
    • ‘Silicon and Teflon do nothing for the penetrative properties of a bullet.’
    • ‘The metaclastic rocks have a pervasive foliation, with the character of a rough cleavage in the Permo-Triassic quartzites, and a finely penetrative differentiated crenulation cleavage in the phyllites and the graphitic mica schist.’
    • ‘The penetrative, unremitting power of her PR had so convinced the newspapers, and through them everyone, including many of my fellow scientists, that my own truths counted for nothing.’
    • ‘They have more gunshot and other penetrative wounds than us but a lot of the other things that they have to deal with, we would be familiar with.’
    • ‘Much severe civilian trauma is blunt, arising from road traffic accidents rather than from penetrative fragments and bullets, blast, and burns.’
    • ‘In a variety of ballistic media, including common barricade materials, hollowpoint pistol rounds have demonstrated greater penetrative qualities than most .223 rifle bullets.’
    • ‘Once large-caliber explosive shells become the norm in the 1880s and 1890s, however, it was rare for the resistive power of a ship's armor to equal the penetrative power of its biggest guns.’
    • ‘But the pressures against great power war are very strong, and the penetrative effect of an expanding global economy continues to grow.’
    • ‘This is the least penetrative of the conventional hollowpoint .45 rounds and, like all standard pressure 185 gr. loads, kicks less than hardball.’
    • ‘File was the main battle formation for infantry, its formation in depth increased the troops' penetrative power yet claimed too many lives.’
    • ‘Then the Wolfhill forward line proved their superior penetrative powers and accuracy when PJ Rowan doubled their advantage on 35 minutes.’
    • ‘The soldiers have to work on their three quarters - they must prove penetrative in attack.’
    • ‘By its nature it will be great for political rights management, because it's an enormously penetrative surveillance tool, and it makes it hard to do anything anonymously involving a computer.’
    shrewd, discerning, perceptive, probing, searching, observant, penetrating, sharp, keen, alert, intent, inquisitive
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of sexual activity) in which a man inserts his penis into the vagina or anus of a sexual partner.
  • 2Having or showing clear insight.

    ‘a thorough and penetrative survey’
    • ‘Although courteous and well informed, the questioning is invariably sharp and penetrative, determined to deliver the best to the reader.’
    • ‘In penetrative insight practice, the settled mind itself is scrupulously and silently examined to realize its true nature.’
    • ‘There are no other thinkers of that period, the 19th century, who really had such a penetrative insight into the relationship between ecological crises and the construction of our society.’
    • ‘This method of penetrative observation leads one to realize deeply that the awakened mind is not separate from the deluded mind, and that behind the illumination, there is neither one who illumines nor one who is illumined.’
    • ‘Thus, in the dialectical, penetrative understanding embodied in the play, the retributive logic remains, but not merely in the form of physical violence.’