pierce

verb
\ ˈpirs \
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 \

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

For the cavity: a quartered onion, a few sprigs of sage and thyme, and a lemon or orange that's been pierced with a knife a few times. Susan Westmoreland, Good Housekeeping, "The 8 Biggest Mistakes You Make When Cooking a Turkey," 19 Nov. 2018 In April 2001, when reporting on the Sri Lankan civil war, Marie lost her left eye after a grenade landed near her and shrapnel pierced her retina. Janine Di Giovanni, Town & Country, "Hollywood Chameleon Rosamund Pike Tackles the Life Story of War Correspondent Marie Colvin," 15 Nov. 2018 Though this kind of allergy testing does use needles, the upside is that the needles just barely pierce the surface of your skin. Korin Miller, SELF, "Here’s Exactly What to Expect If You Need Allergy Testing," 5 Sep. 2018 The tank can fire both high-velocity armor-piercing ammunition and breech-loaded anti-tank guided missiles. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "What You Need to Know About China's New Tank," 2 Jan. 2019 The terrible, undulating war whoops of the attackers were soon joined by sharp shrieks of women pierced by arrows and the cries of men being killed with pangas. Nick Turse, Teen Vogue, "The Democratic Republic of Congo Has Humanitarian Crises Leaving Millions of Children In Danger," 14 Nov. 2018 Fans seem to support Jenner’s choice in piercing the baby’s ears. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Kylie Jenner shows off 5-month-old daughter Stormi with pierced ears," 13 July 2018 Re-teaming with producer James Ford (Haim, Depeche Mode), frontman Alex Turner trades in piercing guitar for jaunty piano for a waggish, if at times uninspired meditation on fame in the digital age. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "Review: Arctic Monkeys' 'Tranquility Base Hotel' is a weird, often enjoyable stay," 10 May 2018 The bill seeks to implement a red flag policy as well as ban bump stocks, armor-piercing ammunition and the purchase of guns by people convicted of domestic violence. Michael Livingston, latimes.com, "Vermont OKs gun controls, while Louisiana scuttles bid to raise age for buying assault weapons," 12 Apr. 2018

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

2 Feb 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 \
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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