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Soak vs Saturate vs Drench vs Steep vs Impregnate vs Sop vs Waterlog

Soaksaturatedrenchsteepimpregnatesopwaterlog can mean to permeate or be permeated with or as if with water.

Soak suggests immersion in a liquid so that the substance absorbs the moisture and usually becomes thoroughly wetted, softened, or dissolved.

In its extended use the term implies a comparable immersion of one thing in another so that the latter is taken up by or enters into the very being of the former and becomes a part of it.

Saturate (see also PERMEATE ) may or may not imply a soaking; distinctively it stresses absorption (as of a liquid) up to a point where no more can be absorbed; thus, the air is said to be saturated when it can retain no more moisture in the form of vapor; one’s clothes may be described as saturated when they are so damp that the addition of further moisture would make them dripping wet; a solution (as of salt in water) is said to be saturated when the liquid has dissolved as much of the substance as it can retain under the circumstances (as of heat and atmospheric pressure). Consequently in its extended use saturate usually implies a becoming imbued or infused with something in exactly the right measure or to the most useful degree.

Drench basically implies a thorough wetting by liquid and especially rainwater <they were in an open buggy and were drenched to the skin —Cather >  In its extended use the term carries an implication of being soaked or saturated by something that pours or is poured down upon one.

Steep implies a complete immersion and soaking in a liquid; it usually suggests the extraction of the essence of one thing so that it becomes part and parcel of the other; thus, one steeps tea leaves in boiling water in order to make the beverage tea. In extended use the acquirement of the qualities of one thing by a process suggestive of such steeping is often implied, but often the term means little more than to envelop with or as if with the quality (as color or light) shed from or emanated by something else.

Impregnate (see also PERMEATE ) commonly carries a suggestion of soaking in something other than water; it implies the interpenetration of one thing by another until the former is everywhere imbued with the latter.

Sop usually applies to food soaked in meat juices or wine, but it may apply also to something (as soil) that is heavily soaked with liquid.

Waterlog suggests a thorough soaking or drenching that makes a thing either useless or too heavy and sodden (as for floating or cultivating).