American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The innermost parts of a building, especially the sanctuary of a temple.
- n. The most private or secret parts; recesses: the penetralia of the soul.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- The interior parts of anything; specifically, the inner parts of a building, as a temple or palace; hence, a sanctuary, especially the sanctuary of the Penates.
- Hidden things; secrets.
- n. The innermost, secret or hidden parts.
- n. The innermost parts of a building, such as a shrine, recess or a sanctuary within a temple.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The recesses, or innermost parts, of any thing or place, especially of a temple or palace.
- n. Hidden things or secrets; privacy; sanctuary.
- n. the innermost parts
- Latin penetrālia, from neuter pl. of penetrālis, inner, from penetrāre, to penetrate; see penetrate. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“But the returns also returned a more profound and philosophical truth -- the truth that the self is a layered entity; the truth that there can be reverberations in the penetralia of our hearts that are beyond our ability to grasp or modulate.”
“Here, when you enter his gloomy penetralia, and invoke his services, the sable-clad and cadaverous- featured shopman asks you, in a sepulchral voice-we are not writing romance, but simple fact - whether you are to be suited for inextinguishable sorrow, or for mere passing grief; and if you are at all in doubt upon the subject, he can solve the problem for you, if you lend him your confidence for the occasion. . .”
“Understanding that West had gone to great lengths to observe China beyond the treaty ports, this writer praised the artist for showing what he called “penetralia,” or “the inner life and natural scenery” of a country.”
“They did not take to literature and science, because these pursuits require severe work and more or less of a strong bias, for a thorough exposition of their profound penetralia.”
“Cameronian leader, in a voice which seemed to issue from the very penetralia of his person.”
“He wished to be what he called “safe” with all those whom he had admitted to the penetralia of his house and heart.”
“Campbell, being obliged to acquiesce, is fain to stop his ears with cotton; to fortify his head with three or four night-caps and every morning retire into the penetralia of his habitation, in order to avoid this diurnal annoyance.”
“When I had finally regained the plain, and could breathe free, I mentally vowed that the penetralia of an African jungle should not be visited by me again, save under most urgent necessity.”
“I believe, had I been in the inmost recesses of my habitation — the very penetralia — your eagerness would have surmounted bolts, bars, decency, and everything.”
“Having crossed his arms upon his breasts, with an inclination of the head, he stalked in solemn silence before them into the penetralia of the temple, where they found the conjurer sitting at a table, provided with pen, ink, and paper, divers books, mathematical instruments, and a long white wand lying across the whole.”
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