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Permeate vs Pervade vs Penetrate vs Impenetrate vs Interpenetrate vs Impregnate vs Saturate

Permeate, pervadepenetrateimpenetrateinterpenetrateimpregnatesaturate can all mean to pass or cause to pass through every part of a thing.

Permeate may be used in reference to either a material or an immaterial thing and implies diffusion through all the pores or interstices of some substance or entity.

Pervade is a very close synonym of permeate, but it distinctively carries a heightened suggestion of diffusion throughout every part or parcel of the whole and it is more often used in reference to such matters as places, writings, and works of art than to purely material things.

Penetrate (see also ENTER 1 ) may be preferred to permeate or pervade when there is the intent also to suggest the entrance of something that goes deeply or profoundly into the essence or nature of a thing, thereby giving it its characteristic quality or efficient force.

Impenetrate is an intensive of penetrate implying a more thorough and often a diffusive penetration.

Interpenetrate, too, may imply no more than thorough penetration or penetration into, within, or throughout, but distinctively it may imply a mutual penetration.

Impregnate often carries a stronger implication of the operation of a causative power (as a human agent) than any of the preceding terms; it also suggests a filling of every available part or portion of a whole so that the thing which enters or is entered is diffused throughout the entire substance, structure, work, or group.

Saturate (see also SOAK ) implies impregnation to the point where no more of the thing which enters can be taken up or absorbed; the term is often used in preference to permeate or pervade when what permeates or pervades is highly obvious, deeply ingrained, or overabundant.