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From Middle French pénétration, and its source, Latin penetrātiō, from the participle stem of penetro ‎(pierce).



penetration ‎(plural penetrations)

  1. The act of penetrating something. [from 15th c.]
    Any penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.
  2. Specifically, the insertion of the penis (or similar object) during sexual intercourse. [from 17th c.]
  3. The act of penetrating a given situation with the mind or faculties; perception, discernment. [from 17th c.]
    • 1817, Walter Scott, Rob Roy, XVI:
      my observations of her looks and actions became acutely sharpened, and that to a degree which, notwithstanding my efforts to conceal it, could not escape her penetration.
  4. (blackjack) A number or fraction that represents how many cards/decks will be dealt before shuffling, in contrast to the total number of cards/decks in play.

Derived terms[edit]