- to penetrate into or run through (something), as a sharp, pointed dagger, object, or instrument does.
- to make a hole or opening in.
- to bore into or through; tunnel.
- to perforate.
- to make (a hole, opening, etc.) by or as by boring or perforating.
- to make a way or path into or through: a road that pierces the dense jungle.
- to penetrate with the eye or mind; see into or through: She couldn't pierce his thoughts.
- to affect sharply with some sensation or emotion, as of cold, pain, or grief: The wind pierced her body. Her words pierced our hearts.
- to sound sharply through (the air, stillness, etc.): A pistol shot pierced the night.
- to force or make a way into or through something; penetrate: to pierce to the heart.
Origin of pierce
Synonyms for pierceSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
- Franklin,1804–69, 14th president of the U.S. 1853–57.
- John Robinson,1910–2002, U.S. electrical engineer: helped develop communications satellites.
- a male given name, form of Peter.
Related Words for pierceplow, gash, intrude, probe, prick, drill, transfix, crack, spike, cleave, incise, break, slit, slice, stab, puncture, enter, slash, bore, perforate
Examples from the Web for pierce
Contemporary Examples of pierce
She had low-grade blood poisoning in her ear from the pin she used to pierce it.‘My Crazy Love’ Reveals the Craziest Lies People Tell for Love
November 18, 2014
PIERCE BROSNAN The Irish actor and ex-James Bond—whose father was Scottish—is cool either way.Celebs Pick Sides on Scotland Referendum: Sean Connery, Andy Murray, Prince Harry, and More
September 19, 2014
Pierce sounded genuinely anguished about the unintended consequences of the bill he supported.Republicans Go From Anti-Gay to No Way on Arizona Bill
February 25, 2014
I thought you were a hoot on Community as the lawyer for the estate of Pierce.Kentucky’s Finest Antihero: Walton Goggins on Justified’s Chameleon Villain
February 11, 2014
In the 1999 film starring Pierce Brosnan, an art thief evades capture by hiding in plain sight.Samantha Lewthwaite: ‘White Widow’ Involved in Kenya Attack?
September 24, 2013
Historical Examples of pierce
No shaft that Percival was able to fashion had point enough to pierce it.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
At the least sound her hands burned and her eyes tried to pierce the darkness.The Dream
In popular usage to pierce with any weapon which remains fixed in the wound.The Devil's Dictionary
Dick, reckless of shell and bullets, tried to pierce the cloud with his eyes.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
His keenest inquiries had been unable to pierce the secret of her birth and station.Leila, Complete
- to form or cut (a hole) in (something) with or as if with a sharp instrument
- to thrust into or penetrate sharply or violentlythe thorn pierced his heel
- to force (a way, route, etc) through (something)
- (of light) to shine through or penetrate (darkness)
- (also intr) to discover or realize (something) suddenly or (of an idea) to become suddenly apparent
- (of sounds or cries) to sound sharply through (the silence)
- to move or affect (a person's emotions, bodily feelings, etc) deeply or sharplythe cold pierced their bones
- (intr) to penetrate or be capable of penetratingpiercing cold
Word Origin for pierce
- Franklin. 1804–69, US statesman; 14th president of the US (1853–57)
Word Origin and History for pierce
late 13c. "make a hole in; force one's way through," from Anglo-French perser, Old French percier "pierce, transfix, drive through" (12c., Modern French percer), probably from Vulgar Latin *pertusiare, frequentative of Latin pertusus, past participle of pertundere "to thrust or bore through," from per- "through" (see per) + tundere "to beat, pound," from PIE *tund-, from root *(s)teu- "to push, strike, knock, beat, thrust" (see obtuse). Related: Pierced; piercing.