pierce

verb
\ ˈpirs How to pronounce pierce (audio) \
pierced; piercing

Definition of pierce

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to run into or through as a pointed weapon does : stab
b : to enter or thrust into sharply or painfully
2 : to make a hole through : perforate
3 : to force or make a way into or through
4 : to penetrate with the eye or mind : discern
5 : to penetrate so as to move or touch the emotions of

intransitive verb

: to force a way into or through something

Pierce

biographical name
\ ˈpirs How to pronounce Pierce (audio) \

Definition of Pierce (Entry 2 of 2)

Franklin 1804–1869 14th president of the U.S. (1853–57)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from pierce

Verb

piercer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for pierce

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for pierce

Verb

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

Examples of pierce in a Sentence

Verb The needle pierced her skin. The bullet pierced his lung. The needle pierced into her skin. The bullet pierced through his lung. A scream pierced the silence.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb When left untrimmed, the dew claws continue to grow and eventually pierce back into a pet’s leg! baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 20 June 2021 If the new strictures are extended to the much broader art market, dealers and auction houses would likely be required by law to determine who the actual owners are, even pierce the veils of shell companies. New York Times, 19 June 2021 Using a teaspoon, gently scoop out flesh from each half, leaving about a 1/4-inch layer of squash, and being careful not to pierce the shell. Kim Sunée, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Apr. 2021 Talking about the latest work, what inspired you to pierce holes through such a product? Mitsuko Watanabe, Vogue, 18 May 2021 The pointed wire end will pierce the wall, indicating exactly where to tap in the nail. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, 22 Apr. 2021 But Volpe’s purple beats are far more affecting on their own, collected in a psychedelic little package where dreamy melodies pierce through thick fog. Vulture Editors, Vulture, 20 Apr. 2021 And yet, despite the murkiness that the pandemic and other outside forces have created, a kind of teen-age normalcy seems to pierce through everything. Carrie Battan, The New Yorker, 25 Mar. 2021 Young, tender branches are easier to pierce, and therefore ideal for egg laying. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, 9 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pierce.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of pierce

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for pierce

Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About pierce

Time Traveler for pierce

Time Traveler

The first known use of pierce was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near pierce

pier buttress

pierce

Pierce

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for pierce

Last Updated

22 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pierce.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pierce. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pierce

pierce

verb

English Language Learners Definition of pierce

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

pierce

verb
\ ˈpirs How to pronounce pierce (audio) \
pierced; piercing

Kids Definition of pierce

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

pierce

transitive verb
pierced; piercing

Legal Definition of pierce

: to see through the usually misleading or false appearance of the object of summary judgment is to pierce the pleadings and allow a judgment on the merits— J. H. Friedenthal et al. the Internal Revenue Service may attempt to pierce the plain meaning of the agreement— W. M. McGovern, Jr. et al.
pierce the corporate veil
: to disregard the corporate entity and reach the personal assets of the corporation's controlling parties : hold the controlling parties (as officers or shareholders) of a corporation personally liable for wrongful acts or debts of the corporation a…creditor in New York cannot pierce the corporate veil solely on grounds of inadequate capitalization— R. C. Clark — compare corporate immunity at immunity

Note: An action to pierce the corporate veil is usually grounded on the corporation's being an instrumentality or alter ego of the officers or shareholders and on some misuse (as fraud) of the officers' or shareholders' control over the corporation.

More from Merriam-Webster on pierce

Nglish: Translation of pierce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pierce for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!