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verb \ˈpirs\

Simple Definition of pierce

  • : to make a hole in or through (something)

  • : to go through or into (something) in a forceful or noticeable way

Full Definition of pierce


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to run into or through as a pointed weapon does :  stab b :  to enter or thrust into sharply or painfully

  3. 2 :  to make a hole through :  perforate

  4. 3 :  to force or make a way into or through

  5. 4 :  to penetrate with the eye or mind :  discern

  6. 5 :  to penetrate so as to move or touch the emotions of

  7. intransitive verb
  8. :  to force a way into or through something

pierc·er noun

Examples of pierce

  1. The needle pierced her skin.

  2. The bullet pierced his lung.

  3. The needle pierced into her skin.

  4. The bullet pierced through his lung.

  5. A scream pierced the silence.

Origin of pierce

Middle English percen, from Anglo-French percer, from Vulgar Latin *pertusiare, from Latin pertusus, past participle of pertundere to perforate, from per- through + tundere to beat — more at per-, contusion

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of pierce

enter, penetrate, pierce, probe mean to make way into something. enter is the most general of these and may imply either going in or forcing a way in <entered the city in triumph>. penetrate carries a strong implication of an impelling force or compelling power that achieves entrance <the enemy penetrated the fortress>. pierce means an entering or cutting through with a sharp pointed instrument <pierced the boil with a lancet>. probe implies penetration to investigate or explore something hidden from sight or knowledge <probed the depths of the sea>.

Rhymes with pierce


biographical name \ˈpirs\

Definition of Pierce

  1. Franklin 1804–1869 14th pres. of the United States (1853–57)

Rhymes with pierce

PIERCE Defined for Kids


verb \ˈpirs\

Definition of pierce


  1. 1 :  to make a hole in or through or as if in or through <I had my ears pierced.> <A stab of fear pierced his heart.>

  2. 2 :  to force or make a way into or through <The sunshine pierced through their faded dresses … — Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie>

Seen and Heard

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February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

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