Pronunciation Verb

pierce (pierces, present participle piercing; past and past participle pierced)

  1. (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.
  2. (transitive) to create a hole in the skin for the purpose of inserting jewelry
    Can you believe he pierced his tongue?
  3. (transitive) to break or interrupt abruptly
    A scream pierced the silence.
  4. (transitive, figurative) To get to the heart or crux of (a matter).
    to pierce a mystery
  5. (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?
Translations Translations Translations Noun

pierce (plural pierces)

  1. (Japan) A pierced earring

Proper noun
  1. A male given name, medieval variant of Piers. Modern usage may also derive from the surname.
  2. Surname
  3. A city/county seat in Pierce County, Nebraska.

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