Definition of penetrating in English:

penetrating

adjective

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

    ‘the problem of penetrating damp’
    ‘the penetrating scents of pine and eucalyptus’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We're looking for ways of penetrating that economic community in an economic fashion.’
    • ‘Infrared is particularly effective for penetrating thick, murky regions of space and revealing what lies beyond.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The sound system rolls out bass like a living beast, penetrating flesh and rattling the ribs beneath.’
    • ‘More often she presents her men and women with such a penetrating, somber empathy that a deliberate affective claustrophobia seizes the reader.’
    • ‘A nasty, penetrating wind, and the sting of snizzle in the air once more.’
    • ‘It was really cold, with a sneaky, penetrating breeze to provide an extra wind-chill.’
    • ‘Acid or chemical stain is a penetrating stain that chemically etches the color into the concrete for a permanent marble like finish.’
    • ‘He has a low, soulful voice with penetrating anger and smarts.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The puma nodded once and stepped outside into the penetrating cold.’
    • ‘Nor is it contended that it results from rising damp or penetrating damp.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I rushed into the living room to see poor Graham getting well and truly damp in a fine, penetrating rain.’
    • ‘It's turned suddenly rather cold, in that penetrating way that gets into the bones and takes an awful lot of shifting.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘No longer will your home be plagued by the penetrating effervescence that periodically resounds from the smallest room in the house.’
    pungent, pervasive, strong, powerful, suffocating, stifling
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1(of a voice or sound) clearly heard through or above other sounds.
      ‘a single penetrating whistle’
      • ‘Its penetrating tone could carry far and rise above the fracas.’
      • ‘Tim sat upright at the penetrating noise and flipped in his hammock.’
      • ‘The penetrating whine of the fighter-bombers and the blast of the missiles overwhelm my brain, robbing me of both understanding and psyche.’
      • ‘In an instant, he is there once more, with his familiar, intense, penetrating, braying sound.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Delivering six full songs and other song fragments, her penetrating chest voice and her haunting ornaments in piquant modes were simply stunning.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The horns are very penetrating and to many it is a public nuisance.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2(of a person's eyes or expression) reflecting an apparent ability to see into the mind of the person being looked at; piercingly intense.
      ‘attempting to avoid her penetrating gaze’
      • ‘There were no secrets that could hide from his penetrating eyes.’
      • ‘At her mother's penetrating stare, she muttered, ‘sorry’ and inhaled deeply.’
      • ‘I looked at the doctor with penetrating eyes and declared, ‘I'll have this baby by midnight!’’
      • ‘Only at nights did he fear the penetrating eyes of his wife.’
      • ‘He was immediately distinguished by his diminutive figure, extremely long white beard, and dark, penetrating eyes.’
      • ‘Or maybe I'm looking at this with a much more penetrating eye than is needed.’
      • ‘He wore a long, rough-looking, black cloak and looked out at you from under his hood with deep brown, 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Her penetrating eyes landed on her small, black school bag.’
      • ‘One of the men was clearly a young Bill, with the same penetrating eyes and subdued smile.’
      • ‘The flames of the many candles were mirrored in his deep, penetrating eyes.’
      • ‘Bobby peered into those pale, penetrating eyes, sort of shrugged and gave her a feeble chipmunk smile.’
      • ‘He stared at her, his piercing, penetrating gaze shooting right through her, reading her like a book.’
      • ‘He was fairly short, a trifle rotund, with dark penetrating eyes that had a way of roving mercurially over objects under surveillance.’
      • ‘His hair is a light brown, with very penetrating eyes, and a slightly brooding look.’
      • ‘They tend to feel warm, have somewhat oily skin, penetrating eyes, and sharp features.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I've never seen a child with such cold, penetrating eyes.’
      • ‘Above all, a viewer is made very conscious of the penetrating power of the artist's eyes as he stares into the mirror.’
    3. 1.3Having or showing clear insight.
      ‘the students asked some penetrating questions’
      • ‘What is this penetrating insight that leads us to the direct experience of emptiness?’
      • ‘By depending on the religious inclination of the general public he has evinced extremely penetrating insight.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Note the dramatic narrative and implicit autobiography that emerge from this penetrating insight.’
      • ‘And I asked him penetrating questions everybody told me not to ask him because that is my nature.’
      • ‘As with all aggregate health care data, these statistics were not designed to answer the most penetrating questions.’
      • ‘Expert adversaries, who have the right to receive public answers to their most penetrating questions, police the scientific method.’
      • ‘My discovery, disconcerting though it was, gave me a penetrating insight into style.’
      • ‘You have to be open to a penetrating insight deeply imbedded in the stuff of language.’
      • ‘He had both the subtle mind of the metaphysician and the penetrating insight of the disillusioned moralist.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Instead, he is most often regarded as a man of penetrating insight.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And they asked these kind of penetrating questions that make you understand they really know what's going on.’
      • ‘His penetrating insights into aspects of health policy during the 1950s and 1960s are unsurpassed.’
      • ‘He had not expected such a penetrating question so quickly.’
      • ‘He has, with sheer penetrating insight, portrayed the decadent values and human failings of his times in simple but effective words.’

Pronunciation:

penetrating

/ˈpenəˌtrādiNG/