noun \ˈpir\

: a structure that goes out from a shore into the water

Full Definition of PIER

:  an intermediate support for the adjacent ends of two bridge spans
:  a structure (as a breakwater) extending into navigable water for use as a landing place or promenade or to protect or form a harbor
:  a vertical structural support: as
a :  the wall between two openings
b :  pillar, pilaster
c :  a vertical member that supports the end of an arch or lintel
d :  an auxiliary mass of masonry used to stiffen a wall
:  a structural mount (as for a telescope) usually of stonework, concrete, or steel

Examples of PIER

  1. <tied the boat up at the pier>

Origin of PIER

Middle English per, from Old English, from Medieval Latin pera
First Known Use: 12th century

Related to PIER

Other Nautical Terms

avast, aweigh, flotsam, jib, keel, lee, port, starboard, stay


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In building construction, a vertical load-bearing member such as an intermediate support for adjacent ends of two bays or spans. Bulkier than a column but smaller than a wall, a pier can support an arch or beam. The lower portion of a pier may be widened to better distribute the downward pressure of a massive overlying structure. In Romanesque and Gothic architecture, a feature of the nave arcade is the compound pier, which is cross-shaped in cross section, with shafts placed in the recesses.


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