[ peer-sing ]
See synonyms for: piercingpiercingspiercingly on Thesaurus.com

  1. loud or shrill, as the quality of a voice.

  2. extremely cold or bitter: a piercing wind.

  1. appearing to gaze deeply or penetratingly into something: piercing eyes.

  2. perceptive or aware; acute: a piercing mind.

  3. sarcastic or caustic; cutting: piercing remarks.

  4. having an unpleasantly intense quality or effect: a piercing drought.

  1. an act or instance of making a hole or opening in something: The cleverly engineered design allows for a safe and smooth piercing of the hose for an easy, watertight installation.

  2. the practice or technique of puncturing a body part so that jewelry can be inserted: The shop is super clean and they're obviously experts in piercing.

  1. a hole or opening made by puncturing: The five wall piercings were possibly a reference to the Five Holy Wounds of Christ.An infected navel piercing can usually be treated with antibiotics.

  2. a ring, stud, or other piece of jewelry inserted through a hole in a body part: He wears five silver piercings on his ears.

Origin of piercing

First recorded in 1375–1425; pierce, -ing2

Other words for piercing

Other words from piercing

  • pierc·ing·ly, adverb
  • pierc·ing·ness, noun
  • un·pierc·ing, adjective

Words Nearby piercing

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use piercing in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for piercing


/ (ˈpɪəsɪŋ) /

  1. (of a sound) sharp and shrill

  2. (of eyes or a look) intense and penetrating

  1. (of an emotion) strong and deeply affecting

  2. (of cold or wind) intense or biting

  1. the art or practice of piercing body parts for the insertion of jewellery

  2. an instance of the piercing of a body part

Derived forms of piercing

  • piercingly, adverb

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