Definition of impregnate in English:



[with object]
  • 1Soak or saturate (something) with a substance.

    ‘wood which had been impregnated with preservative’
    • ‘I'm sure there isn't a non-smoker among us who hasn't wretched as they've been engulfed in a plume of smoke from someone walking past, the fumes impregnating their clothes and hair with that familiar stale smell.’
    • ‘Dr John Harrison, a climate expert from the University of Stirling, says crops will fail before the land is flooded as salt impregnates the soil.’
    • ‘The smell of urine so deeply impregnated the furnishings and floors of the dayrooms that it seemed ineradicable (not that anyone tried to eradicate it).’
    • ‘The smell when I open my fiddle case - years of tobacco smoke from thousands of gigs in Irish pubs are impregnated in the wood, along with the smell of rosin and the odd spilled whiskey.’
    • ‘So he spent the next seven years inventing a system of chemically impregnated paper strips that when rubbed together made a cracking noise.’
    • ‘Leonardo impregnated them with wax, stripped away the surrounding tissue and superbly illustrated their shape.’
    • ‘The mask is impregnated with ginseng, vitamin E, aloe vera and green tea.’
    • ‘The roof leaks, the walls are impregnated with damp and the buttresses are crumbling.’
    • ‘The main problem now for the scientists is how best to impregnate the rock with the chemicals meant to prevent the widening of large cracks that are forming rapidly.’
    • ‘She was thoroughly impregnated, inside and outside, upside and down, and in every direction, with that perfume.’
    • ‘The total amount of lignin impregnated onto the filter paper comprised approximately 30% of the weight of the sheet in order to mimic the lignin content in mechanical pulp papers.’
    • ‘The seeds were then cut in half longitudinally and deposited on a sterile Whatman No.1 filter paper impregnated with 1% tetrazolium chloride.’
    • ‘Boil water vigorously or disinfect it with iodine; portable filters impregnated with resins, sold at camping stores, are another option.’
    • ‘They checked and purported to control how asbestos was removed from site and ensured that asbestos impregnated clothing was dealt with so as not to spread asbestos’
    infuse, soak, steep, saturate, drench
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    1. 1.1Fill with a feeling or quality.
      ‘an atmosphere impregnated with tension’
      • ‘It was just really impregnated with this horrible, horrible atmosphere.’
      • ‘Rather than receding, the hunger to recall what's passed imbues meaning in everything, animating the inanimate, impregnating empty space, and bending time.’
      pervade, spread through, fill, filter through, diffuse through, imbue, penetrate, pass through, percolate through, perfuse, extend throughout, be disseminated through, flow through, charge, suffuse, run through, steep, impregnate, inform, infiltrate
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  • 2Make (a woman or female animal) pregnant.

    ‘he was obliged to marry the woman he'd impregnated’
    • ‘At 15 she qualified to live by herself under state care, and it was while she was living in a Surrey duplex that she was impregnated.’
    • ‘Scorning marriage, she drafted a body builder to impregnate her before casting him aside as irrelevant to her new role as liberated mother-artiste.’
    • ‘Out of work, and desperate for cash, Armstrong receives an offer from his ex-girlfriend, Fatima, that if he impregnates her, she will pay him handsomely.’
    • ‘Peter aggressively pursues Misty, marries her, hauls her back to Waytansea Island and impregnates her.’
    • ‘The schoolteacher she dotes on impregnates her and leaves for England.’
    • ‘Jake sat for a moment, and stared at Amy's stomach, he couldn't pick a moment for sure that he had impregnated her, but he knew it had to be him.’
    • ‘Surely, a man encountered Agnes and impregnated her, and scared, Agnes kept quiet until the fateful night.’
    • ‘One day, a shower of gold fell through the opening and Zeus impregnated her with a son who would be named Perseus.’
    • ‘His wife, determined to have a child at any cost, demands that he impregnate her - even though it will bring about seroconversion and risk the creation of an HIV-infected offspring.’
    • ‘This partner would impregnate her and, thus, contribute his genetic material to the next generation.’
    • ‘Toronto Zoo gave their chameleon to Sofia Zoo as a sign of gratitude for the female hippopotamus sent to impregnate a Toronto Zoo hippopotamus last year.’
    • ‘Very few bulls remain to impregnate cows, making inbreeding a pressing concern.’
    • ‘But the real winner is stud fees: It is estimated that the horse could make some US $80 million annually impregnating mares for the next few years.’
    • ‘Fourteen males reported that they had impregnated a female, and one reported having one or more children.’
    • ‘Another common legend claims that fairies would abduct women to be impregnated and bear children for the fairy race.’
    • ‘One study found that, among pregnant 15-year-olds, 40% had been impregnated by a man who was at least 20 years old.’
    • ‘As parents, what do you do if your beloved daughter was found pregnant or your son had impregnated someone?’
    • ‘She develops over the winter inside a female flower, and is impregnated by the male in the spring.’
    • ‘Through brute force, he impregnates Celie twice and takes the babies away in the forest where he plans to kill them.’
    • ‘Within 60 days, the cow will be impregnated again.’
    make pregnant, get pregnant, inseminate, fertilize
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    1. 2.1Biology Fertilize (an ovum).
      ‘Abortion, or miscarriage, implies the premature expulsion of the contents of the impregnated Uterus.’
      ‘There are thousands of millions of sperms that never impregnate eggs.’


Early 17th century (in the sense ‘fill’; earlier (Middle English) as impregnation): from late Latin impregnat- ‘made pregnant’, from the verb impregnare.