piercing

[ peer-sing ]
/ ˈpɪər sɪŋ /

adjective

loud or shrill, as the quality of a voice.
extremely cold or bitter: a piercing wind.
appearing to gaze deeply or penetratingly into something: piercing eyes.
perceptive or aware; acute: a piercing mind.
sarcastic or caustic; cutting: piercing remarks.

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Origin of piercing

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425; see origin at pierce, -ing2

OTHER WORDS FROM piercing

pierc·ing·ly, adverbpierc·ing·ness, nounun·pierc·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for piercing

British Dictionary definitions for piercing

piercing
/ (ˈpɪəsɪŋ) /

adjective

(of a sound) sharp and shrill
(of eyes or a look) intense and penetrating
(of an emotion) strong and deeply affecting
(of cold or wind) intense or biting

noun

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