pierce (pierces, present participle piercing; past and past participle pierced)
- (transitive) to puncture; to break through
- The diver pierced the surface of the water with scarcely a splash.
- to pierce the enemy's line; a shot pierced the ship
- I pierce […] her tender side.
- (transitive) to create a hole in the skin for the purpose of inserting jewelry
- Can you believe he pierced his tongue?
- (transitive) to break or interrupt abruptly
- A scream pierced the silence.
- (transitive, figurative) To get to the heart or crux of (a matter).
- to pierce a mystery
- (transitive, figurative) To penetrate; to affect deeply.
- 1715, Homer; [Alexander] Pope, transl., “Book XI”, in The Iliad of Homer, volume I, London: Printed by W[illiam] Bowyer, for Bernard Lintott between the Temple-Gates, OCLC 670734254 ↗:
- pierced with grief
- c. 1596–1598, William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act IV, scene i]:
- Can no prayers pierce thee?
- French: percer
- German: durchstechen, lochen
- Italian: pungere, forare, perforare, bucare
- Portuguese: furar, perfurar
- Russian: протыка́ть
- Spanish: perforar
pierce (plural pierces)
- A male given name, medieval variant of Piers. Modern usage may also derive from the surname.
- A city/county seat in Pierce County, Nebraska.