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)

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Other Words from pierce

Verb

piercer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for pierce

Synonyms: Verb

access, enter, penetrate

Antonyms: Verb

depart, exit, leave

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

To top it all off, a giant spire would grow out of the dome to scrape the sky and pierce the clouds. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "A Friendship Turned to Rivalry. A Feud That Changed the New York Skyline.," 27 Mar. 2019 Moshfegh’s sentences are piercing and vixenish, each one a kind of orphan. Dwight Garner, New York Times, "A Sleeping Beauty Hopes Hibernation Is the Answer to All Life’s Problems," 2 July 2018 The pickup rode the railing for about 100 feet and was traveling backwards when a section of aluminum bridge railing pierced the cab's rear window and hit Blackmond, who died at the scene, a bridge official said. Robert Rhoden, NOLA.com, "Olivia Matte pleads guilty to DWI that occurred before Causeway fatality," 24 Apr. 2018 Authorities say 10-year-old Austin Almanza was fatally struck by an arrow, which traveled through his body and then pierced his 8-year-old brother in the arm. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "13-year-old charged with murder in Oklahoma boy's crossbow killing," 19 Jan. 2018 Gwyneth gamely sat down at the Simon G. ear-piercing station and got not one but two new ones before a phalanx of professional and amateur photographers. Elizabeth Nicholas, Vogue, "The Top Takeaways from 2019’s In Goop Health Summit," 12 Mar. 2019 But the one in my hand, the latest nostalgia play for millennials, replicates the simplistic first-gen edition, with the same basic software and ear-piercing beeps for attention. Haley Velasco, WSJ, "New Tamagotchis, and the Trials of Digital Parenthood in 2018," 25 Sep. 2018 My fibula had pierced through my skin and had to be hammered and screwed back into place. Sarah Gad, Marie Claire, "My Drug Overdose Saved My Life. Now I'm Saving Others.," 15 Mar. 2019 Because the entire experience of doing this with you has completely pierced my heart directly. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Emily Blunt & John Krasinski Look Adorable in Matching Tuxedos at the Writers Guild Awards 2019," 18 Feb. 2019

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.

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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

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Learn More about pierce

Statistics for pierce

Last Updated

11 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pierce

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

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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
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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on pierce

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pierce

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pierce

Spanish Central: Translation of pierce

Nglish: Translation of pierce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pierce for Arabic Speakers

Comments on pierce

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