[ peerst ]
/ pɪərst /
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punctured or perforated, as to form a decorative design: a pendant in pierced copper.
(of the ear) having the lobe punctured, as for earrings.
(of an earring) made to be attached, as by a post or wire, through the hole in a pierced ear lobe.
Heraldry. (of a charge) open at the center to reveal the field: a lozenge pierced.
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Origin of pierced

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at pierce, -ed2


un·pierced, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does pierced mean?

Pierced is an adjective that describes things that have had holes made in them by being penetrated or punctured, usually with something sharp.

The word comes from the past tense of the verb pierce, which means to penetrate or puncture things in this way. This sense of the word is associated with needles and other thin, sharp objects used to pierce surfaces. To pierce someone’s ear is to make a hole in it with a needle so that an earring can be inserted. This is called a piercing.

Pierced is especially used to describe ears and other body parts that have had a hole put in them so that jewelry can be inserted, as in pierced ears, pierced lip, pierced nose, and pierced eyebrow.

It can also describe someone who has piercings, as in He was one of those pierced and tattooed guys. 

Pierced metal is metal that has been perforated with holes, such as to form a design.

Example: My ears aren’t pierced—this is just a clip-on earring.

How is pierced used in real life?

The first records of the word pierced as an adjective come from the 1300s. It ultimately comes from the Latin verb pertundere, meaning “to bore a hole through” or “to perforate.”

The verb pierce can be used in many different contexts, both literally and figuratively, but pierced is most commonly used in the context of body parts that have had holes inserted into them in order to wear jewelry. All kinds of body parts can be pierced, including some nontraditional spots like the cheek and the back of the neck.

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What are some other forms of pierced?

What are some synonyms for pierced?

What are some words that share a root or word element with pierced

What are some words that often get used in discussing pierced?

How is pierced used in real life?

Pierced is most commonly used in the context of pierced ears, but many other body parts can be pierced.



Try using pierced!

Which of the following body parts can be pierced?

A. ear
B. lip
C. nose
D. all of the above

How to use pierced in a sentence