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.

Nearby words

  1. pierce's disease,
  2. pierce, franklin,
  3. pierce, john,
  4. pierced,
  5. piercer,
  6. piercing saw,
  7. piercingly,
  8. piercy,
  9. pierhead,
  10. pieria

Origin of piercing

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

Related formspierc·ing·ly, adverbpierc·ing·ness, nounun·pierc·ing, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for piercingly

British Dictionary definitions for piercingly



(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


the art or practice of piercing body parts for the insertion of jewellery
an instance of the piercing of a body part
Derived Formspiercingly, 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

Word Origin and History for piercingly
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper