American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To pierce, punch, or bore a hole or holes in; penetrate.
- v. To pierce or stamp with rows of holes, as those between postage stamps, to allow easy separation.
- v. To pass into or through something.
- adj. Having been perforated.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To bore through; pierce; make a hole or holes in, as by boring or driving.
- Synonyms Bore through, Pierce, etc. See penetrate.
- Bored or pierced through: penetrated.
- Specifically— In botany, pierced with one or more small holes, or, more commonly, having translucent dots which resemble holes, as in most plants of the order Hypericineæ.
- In ornithology, noting the nostril of a bird when lacking a nasal septum, so that a hole appears from side to side of the bill, as in the turkey-buzzard, crane, etc.
- In anatomy, open; opened through; affording passage or communication; having the character or quality of a perforation; forminate.
- In zoology, full of little holes or perforations; cribrose; foraminulate; specifically, of or pertaining to the Perforata: as, a perforate coral; a perforate foraminifer.
- Of the shells of gastropod mollusks, having a tubular cavity extending through the columella from the umbilicus to the apex: contrasted with imperforate, in which case the columella is solid.
- adj. philately Perforated.
- v. To pierce; to penetrate.
- v. To make a line of holes in a thin material to allow separation at the line.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To bore through; to pierce through with a pointed instrument; to make a hole or holes through by boring or piercing; to pierce or penetrate the surface of.
- adj. Pierced with a hole or holes, or with pores; having transparent dots resembling holes.
- v. pass into or through, often by overcoming resistance
- v. make a hole into or between, as for ease of separation
- adj. having a hole cut through
- Latin perforāre, perforāt- : per-, per- + forāre, to bore. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“It is probably derived from a root meaning "to bore," "perforate," and hence denotes perforated wind instruments of all kinds.”
“The "bizarre bits" on display here include a bunch of medical specimens and instruments, such as the smallpox scab, various saws used for amputations and neurosurgery, and a trepan, a grotesque device used to perforate the skull, which was believed to aid in treating mental illness, epilepsy and migraines.”
“He also talked about the positive role of older, more experienced and hard-bitten men such as Jose Henriquez, 56, a miner trained to perforate holes who is also an evangelical pastor.”
“But Bassett's relapses grew more frequent, his brief convalescences less and less vigorous, his periods of coma longer, until he came to know, beyond the last promptings of the optimism inherent in so tremendous a constitution as his own, that he would never live to cross the grass lands, perforate the perilous coast jungle, and reach the sea.”
“I continue to be haunted by flying dreams, airplane anxiety dreams that perforate my brain with panic.”
“The bullet, driving with momentum sufficient to perforate a man's body a mile distant, struck Tudor with such force as to pivot him, whirling him half around by the shock of its impact and knocking him down.”
“Shuffling penitentially on your knees, bending and scraping with dustpan and brush while vicious pine needles perforate your kneecaps...it's almost enough to make you feel like Christmas might, in a twisted way, be the descendent of some sort of primitive religious festival.”
“But a diamond can scratch the skin, perforate it, bring blood welling to the top, spilling over fascinated edges.”
“Violent accidents perforate the narratives, both as a means of insisting on the contingency of existence and as a means of keeping the reader reading —”
“Imagine the deafening report of a mortar as it strikes the ground a 150 feet in front of you, the overpressure enough to shatter your teeth and perforate an ear drum.”
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