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pier

[peer]
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noun
  1. a structure built on posts extending from land out over water, used as a landing place for ships, an entertainment area, a strolling place, etc.; jetty.
  2. (in a bridge or the like) a support for the ends of adjacent spans.
  3. a square pillar.
  4. a portion of wall between doors, windows, etc.
  5. a pillar or post on which a gate or door is hung.
  6. a support of masonry, steel, or the like for sustaining vertical pressure.
  7. a long passageway or corridor that extends from a central area of a building, especially one at an airport that leads to boarding gates.
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Origin of pier

before 1150; Middle English pere, earlier (perhaps late Old English) per < Anglo-Latin pera, pēra pier of a bridge
Related formsun·der·pier, noun
Can be confuseddock harbor pier wharf
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for piers

pier

noun
  1. a structure with a deck that is built out over water, and used as a landing place, promenade, etc
  2. a pillar that bears heavy loads, esp one of rectangular cross section
  3. the part of a wall between two adjacent openings
  4. another name for buttress (def. 1)
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Word Origin

C12 per, from Anglo-Latin pera pier supporting a bridge
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 piers

Piers

common Old French form of masc. proper name Peter (q.v.).

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pier

n.

mid-12c., "support of a span of a bridge," from Medieval Latin pera, of unknown origin, perhaps from Old North French pire "a breakwater," from Vulgar Latin *petricus, from Latin petra "rock" (see petrous), but OED is against this. Meaning "solid structure in a harbor, used as a landing place for vessels," is attested from mid-15c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper