v. per·me·at·ed, per·me·at·ing, per·me·ates
1. To pass through the openings or interstices of: liquid permeating a membrane.
2. To spread or flow throughout; pervade: "Our thinking is permeated by our historical myths" (Freeman J. Dyson). See Synonyms at imbue.
To spread through or penetrate something.
[Latin permeāre, permeāt-, to penetrate : per-, through; see PER- + meāre, to pass; see mei-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
perme·ant (-ənt), perme·a′tive (-ā′tĭv) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.