: an intermediate support for the adjacent ends of two bridge spans
: a structure (such 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: such as
: the wall between two openings
: a vertical member that supports the end of an arch or lintel
: 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 in a Sentence

tied the boat up at the pier
Recent Examples on the Web The container ship Dali hit one of the Key Bridge's support piers while leaving the Port of Baltimore, causing the majority of the structure to plunge into the Patapsco River. Andrea Vacchiano, Fox News, 15 Apr. 2024 Sydney stabbing: 6 dead, suspect killed in attack at major shopping mall A 57-year-old man was dropping off customers at pier 2 when a bystander told him that his vehicle was moving forward. Nadine El-Bawab, ABC News, 13 Apr. 2024 The ship moved off course, past modest protective barriers and into a critical pier that bridge engineers said was not built to withstand such a massive force. Michael Laris, Washington Post, 10 Apr. 2024 The company will also add a new multi-ship pier at its private Bahamas island, Great Stirrup Cay, scheduled for completion by late 2025. Nathan Diller, USA TODAY, 8 Apr. 2024 The shuttered pier will remain closed to the public until the city can stabilize recent damage. Emily Alvarenga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Apr. 2024 Meanwhile, the Pentagon on Thursday said plans to build a temporary pier off the coast of Gaza to help boost the flow of aid into the territory continue to move forward. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, arkansasonline.com, 5 Apr. 2024 The bridge did not have an obvious fender system to redirect or prevent a ship from crashing into the bridge piers. Eduardo Medina, New York Times, 31 Mar. 2024 Composed of more than 70,000 wooden planks, the 38-block oceanfront stretch draws crowds with everything from amusement piers featuring rides and games galore to water parks to classic eateries and shopping. Lindsay Cohn, Travel + Leisure, 6 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pier.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English per, from Old English, from Medieval Latin pera

First Known Use

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pier was in the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near pier

Cite this Entry

“Pier.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pier. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a support for a bridge
: a structure built out into the water for use as a landing place or walk or to protect or form a harbor
: an upright supporting part (as a pillar or buttress) of a building or structure

More from Merriam-Webster on pier

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