Definition of perforation in US English:



  • 1A hole made by boring or piercing; an aperture passing through or into something.

    ‘the perforations allow water to enter the well’
    • ‘When a perforation in the moving roll uncovered a slot in the bar, suction would draw the air through the port, forcing the wooden finger down.’
    • ‘Such mating pairs are joined by a membrane, perforations in which allow exchange of cytoplasmic factors for several hours before any nuclear exchange.’
    • ‘Moreover, it has been observed that within this group the diameter of such perforations on the inner wall vary amongst species, thus allowing for the distinction of three separate subgroups.’
    • ‘They're not made to be touched by human hands and every time that we tug and we touched and we pulled one, what would happen is that you would end up with a perforation where there was none before.’
    • ‘Sometimes the result is a perforation - a hole in the eardrum - but this often heals by itself within two months.’
    • ‘The perforations allow light and view to pass through.’
    • ‘In addition, many children suffer from poor eyesight, cuts and perforations on their hands and twisted fingers.’
    • ‘The screen has millions of tiny perforations across it to allow sound to escape from speakers placed behind.’
    • ‘In retrospect, I could have tried some montage of a tea packet with the skull and crossbones, or maybe picked something out from the perforations in a tea-bag.’
    • ‘The weight of the metal drum is sufficient to keep it at the depth required and the perforations allow the water to pass through the drum.’
    • ‘At the end of the day, the election workers put the cards into a sorter that counts the number of perforations for each candidate.’
    • ‘They look like a giant teabag with the leaves missing: a mass of stretchy, white tissue with thousands of perforations.’
    • ‘Doctors also discovered a small perforation in her bowel, which led to severe complications, an inquest heard.’
    • ‘All had vivid memories of the bottles with cardboard tops and the perforation in the middle to be pushed open to allow for the straw.’
    • ‘The light, which is inside the spire and shines though 12,000 perforations, is visible from many points around the city.’
    • ‘The pipes have perforations so some drained water can leak back into the soil as it flows the length of the pipe into a stream.’
    • ‘None of my other perforations had caused the loss of movement.’
    • ‘But we saw pictures earlier today through that glass window of the officials there holding up the cards one-by-one, trying to look through the perforations to see if they could see the light.’
    • ‘Or she runs them through her sewing machine, without using a needle, and the perforations that emerge give them a hand-made look.’
    • ‘They say that among the telltale signs found by FBI experts were a series of perfectly symmetrical round perforations in some of the stainless steel kitchen equipment in the dining hall.’
    piercing, puncturing, puncture, riddling, stabbing, prick, pricking, probing, goring, spiking, sticking, impaling, impalement, transfixing, transfixion, boring, drilling, lancing, tapping
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    1. 1.1 A small hole or row of small holes punched in a sheet of paper, e.g. of postage stamps, so that a part can be torn off easily.
      • ‘You're supposed to shoot around the star to make your own perforation - that's how you win.’
      • ‘You notice the thin vermilion perimeter of the crypt image, the slight shadow at the edges of each piece of paper, the delicacy of the perforations, the gently authoritative physicality of each of the forms.’
      • ‘The cracks form perpendicularly to the cooling surface (the top of the flow) unless there are elongated vesicles, which act like the perforations in postage stamps, bending the cracks round them.’
      • ‘Many souvenir sheets have a single image with the image bled outside the perforations, making the whole sheet rather than just the stamp the collectible item.’
      • ‘But you need not tear along perforations as with snapshots produced by competitors.’
      • ‘Paper would come in boxes of paper that were all connected via top and bottom with perforations, and the sides of the paper had the tractor guides which could be removed via perforations.’
      • ‘I have also attempted to make business cards but abandoned it on account of not being able to get them to print inside the perforations whatever way I put them in the printer.’
      • ‘He compares this to the paper perforations which prevent tearing across a postage stamp.’
      • ‘And I was appalled to read an article about how scientists had worked for years using geographical patterns in a toilet roll's perforations to make it softer than soft.’
      • ‘Use the perforations on the form to separate the declaration of identity, the European voting form and the council voting form.’
      • ‘Separate the ballot paper and the security form by tearing along the perforations.’
      • ‘But the bank is incapable of producing cheque books that detach smoothly along the perforation.’
      • ‘Carefully tear along perforations, separating the two ballot papers and the declaration of identity.’
      • ‘Classical collectors are more interested in the technical details of the stamp, such as its perforation, paper, and details of design.’
      hole, gap, aperture, space, orifice, vent, slot, window, crack, slit, gash, split, fissure, cleft, crevice, cut, incision, rent, cavity, cranny, groove, chink, eye, mouth
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    2. 1.2 The action or state of perforating or being perforated.
      ‘there was evidence of intestinal perforation’
      • ‘The liver, spleen, kidneys, and pancreas all looked normal, and no evidence of intestinal obstruction or perforation was detected.’
      • ‘There has been a single report of esophageal perforation with this procedure for the last 30 years.’
      • ‘The most serious side effects include gastrointestinal bleeding and perforation, renal dysfunction, and platelet dysfunction.’
      • ‘An inquest recorded a verdict of death by misadventure after hearing she died of acute peritonitis, caused by the perforation of her bowel during the operation.’
      • ‘It usually allows rapid diagnosis of tympanic membrane perforations.’
      • ‘In 5 cases, there was gross and microscopic evidence of perforation.’
      • ‘Gastrointestinal perforation is a possible side effect of using this drug.’
      • ‘Operations for complications such as strangulation or perforation, should they occur, are relatively straightforward and have a high success rate.’
      • ‘The authors quote a 2.6% perforation rate for endoscopy.’
      • ‘This seizure was followed by perforation of his large bowel and a subsequent fatal arrhythmia.’
      • ‘In addition, although airway perforation can be a serious complication of laser therapy in a normal host, it may be devastating in the immunocompromised patient.’
      • ‘The authors report a case of esophageal perforation after sequential double-lung transplantation for bronchiectasis.’
      • ‘The laparoscopic technique is favored among surgeons as safer overall, but inadvertent perforations do occur.’
      • ‘The most common organ to perforate in a newborn (aside from perforations caused by necrotizing enterocolitis) is spontaneous perforation of the stomach.’
      • ‘In adults, the unusual occurrence of retropharyngeal abscesses may be associated with perforation of the posterior wall by foreign bodies or instrumentation.’
      • ‘The overall rate of oesophageal perforation after flexible endoscopy involving oesophageal instrumentation, biopsy, or dilatation is 2.6%.’
      • ‘Instead of the respiratory improvement, the patient died 15 days later of abdominal sepsis after intestinal perforation.’
      • ‘Plain-film abdominal radiographs are most useful when intestinal obstruction or perforation of a viscus in the abdomen is a concern.’
      • ‘A polymicrobial culture raises the suspicion for intestinal perforation or abscess formation.’
      • ‘These complications may be minimized by passing all arthroscopic instruments through sturdy metallic sheaths to prevent multiple attempts at hip joint penetrance and perforations of the hip capsule.’


Late Middle English: from medieval Latin perforatio(n-), from the verb perforare (see perforate).