penetrate

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penetrate into someone or something

to pierce into someone or something; to stick deep into someone or something. The lance penetrated into the knight, right through his armor. The bullet penetrated into the wall.
See also: penetrate

penetrate something with something

to pierce something with something. I could not even penetrate the steel door with a cold chisel. It was easy to penetrate the lid with a can opener.
See also: penetrate

penetrate through something

to pierce all the way through something. (Some people will view the through as redundant.) The bullet could not penetrate through the metal plating. It did not have enough force to penetrate through the steel.
See also: penetrate
References in classic literature ?
When you penetrate deeply into a country, it is serious ground.
No young man of twenty-four appointed chief mate for the first time in his life would have let that Dutch tenacious winter penetrate into his heart.
Cromwell has thus allowed us more than ten times to penetrate into his very soul, when one would have conceived that soul to be enveloped in triple brass, as Horace has it.
In their narrow-mouthed caves the natives, whoever they might be, had refuges into which the huge saurians could not penetrate, while with their developed brains they were capable of setting such traps, covered with branches, across the paths which marked the run of the animals as would destroy them in spite of all their strength and activity.
Nor would it have advantaged me any had they known the exact location of my prison, for who could hope to penetrate to this buried sea in the face of the mighty navy of the First Born?
This vast region is situated between the fifteenth and tenth degrees of north latitude; that is to say, that, in order to approach it, the explorer must penetrate fifteen hundred miles into the interior of Africa.
If now we were to try to penetrate to the soul of Quasimodo through that thick, hard rind; if we could sound the depths of that badly constructed organism; if it were granted to us to look with a torch behind those non-transparent organs to explore the shadowy interior of that opaque creature, to elucidate his obscure corners, his absurd no-thoroughfares, and suddenly to cast a vivid light upon the soul enchained at the extremity of that cave, we should, no doubt, find the unhappy Psyche in some poor, cramped, and ricketty attitude, like those prisoners beneath the Leads of Venice, who grew old bent double in a stone box which was both too low and too short for them.
At the same moment his teeth entered the back of the neck, but too near the base in the lumpy shoulder muscles to permit the fangs to penetrate to the spinal cord.
And no matter how much he dissected beauty in search of the principles that underlie beauty and make beauty possible, he was aware, always, of the innermost mystery of beauty to which he did not penetrate and to which no man had ever penetrated.
Playmore, warning him, in good time, that I meant to make a last effort to penetrate the mystery at Gleninch.
All must hope that some day America would penetrate the deepest secrets of that mysterious orb; and some even seemed to fear lest its conquest should not sensibly derange the equilibrium of Europe.
At the same moment the bell sounded deep in the wood, so clear and solemnly that five or six determined to penetrate somewhat further.
And many a one becometh transparent to us, but still we can by no means penetrate him.
All his efforts to draw her into open discussion she confronted with a barrier which he could not penetrate, made up of a sort of amused perplexity.