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, through
References in classic literature ?
Yes, I understand," replied Ned, becoming more attentive; "because the water surrounds me, but does not penetrate.
If some bold navigator attempted to penetrate northward of these islands, he would run a thousand dangers amidst gigantic icebergs, on some of which he would see great blocks of rock borne far away from their original site.
When you penetrate deeply into a country, it is serious ground.
When the remedy that is in the handle of the club is warmed by your hand it will penetrate throughout your body.
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.
Napoleon's historians describe to us his skilled maneuvers at Tarutino and Malo-Yaroslavets, and make conjectures as to what would have happened had Napoleon been in time to penetrate into the rich southern provinces.
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.
7) Goring is taken when the bull horn penetrates deeply in the muscles as well as body cavity.
Brad Fitzpatrick's "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" quotes Federal's Tim Brandt as saying "smaller shot penetrates better.