permeate

When you live in a big city like New York, you know all too well how the smells of spices and cooking meats can permeate a hallway, easily passing through those thin apartment doors to make your mouth water.

The verb permeate literally means to "pass through." It's often used to describe smells or liquids that not only pass through, but also spread to fill an entire area. When you bake cookies, you'll notice that the rich, sweet smell of those cookies isn't confined just to your oven — it permeates the entire kitchen and even the whole house. In science class, you might have learned about a permeable membrane — a thin material that is porous enough to let liquids or gases to pass through.

Definitions of permeate
  1. verb
    spread or diffuse through
    “An atmosphere of distrust has permeated this administration”
    synonyms: diffuse, imbue, interpenetrate, penetrate, pervade, riddle
    see moresee less
    types:
    spiritise, spiritize
    imbue with a spirit
    type of:
    penetrate, perforate
    pass into or through, often by overcoming resistance
  2. verb
    pass through
    “Water permeates sand easily”
    synonyms: filter, percolate, sink in
    see moresee less
    types:
    infiltrate
    pass into or through by filtering or permeating
    infiltrate
    cause (a liquid) to enter by penetrating the interstices
    type of:
    penetrate, perforate
    pass into or through, often by overcoming resistance
  3. verb
    penetrate mutually or be interlocked
    synonyms: interpenetrate
    see moresee less
    types:
    invade
    penetrate or assault, in a harmful or injurious way
    type of:
    penetrate, perforate
    pass into or through, often by overcoming resistance
Word Family