The term “permeate” comes from the Latin word “permeare,” which means “to pass through” or “to penetrate.” Here’s a detailed chronological breakdown:

1. Proto-Indo-European (PIE)

The PIE root “per-” means “through” or “forward,” and “meh₁-” means “to change” or “to go.”

2. Latin

From the PIE roots, the Latin verb “permeare” developed, meaning “to pass through” or “to penetrate.” This is composed of “per-” (through) and “meare” (to go, to pass).

3. Medieval Latin (c. 5th to 15th century CE)

The term “permeare” was used in Medieval Latin, retaining the meaning of “to pass through” or “to penetrate.”

4. Middle English (c. 11th to 15th century CE)

The term “permeate” was adopted into Middle English from Medieval Latin “permeatus,” the past participle of “permeare.”

5. Modern English (from 15th century CE to present)

The term “permeate” evolved into its current form and pronunciation, meaning “to spread throughout,” “to penetrate,” or “to pass through the pores or interstices of.”

The word “permeate” reflects the concept of something spreading throughout or passing through a substance or space. It is commonly used to describe the process of a liquid, gas, or other substance moving through a porous material, as well as the spread of ideas, influences, or feelings through a group or environment.