pierce

[ peers ]
/ pɪərs /

verb (used with object), pierced, pierc·ing.

verb (used without object), pierced, pierc·ing.

to force or make a way into or through something; penetrate: to pierce to the heart.

Origin of pierce

1250–1300; Middle English percen < Old French perc(i)er < Vulgar Latin *pertūsiāre, verbal derivative of Latin pertūsus, past participle of pertundere to bore a hole through, perforate, equivalent to per- per- + tundere to strike, beat

Related forms

pierce·a·ble, adjectivepierc·er, nounun·pierce·a·ble, adjective

Synonym study

1. Pierce, penetrate suggest the action of one object passing through another or making a way through and into another. The terms are used both concretely and figuratively. To pierce is to perforate quickly, as by stabbing; it suggests the use of a sharp, pointed instrument which is impelled by force: to pierce the flesh with a knife; a scream pierces one's ears. Penetrate suggests a slow or difficult movement: No ordinary bullet can penetrate an elephant's hide; to penetrate the depths of one's ignorance.

Definition for pierce (2 of 2)

Pierce

[ peers ]
/ pɪərs /

noun

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.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pierce

British Dictionary definitions for pierce (1 of 2)

pierce

/ (pɪəs) /

verb (mainly tr)


Derived Forms

pierceable, adjectivepiercer, noun

Word Origin for pierce

C13 percen, from Old French percer, ultimately from Latin pertundere, from per through + tundere to strike

British Dictionary definitions for pierce (2 of 2)

Pierce

/ (pɪəs) /

noun

Franklin. 1804–69, US statesman; 14th president of the US (1853–57)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012