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

Irwin, 44, was killed in 2006 after he was pierced in the heart by a stingray during a diving expedition off the coast of Australia. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "Miami Marlins Apologize for Joking About Steve Irwin's Death in Tampa Bay Rays Twitter Exchange," 6 Aug. 2019 The flag, pierced by German bullet holes and tattered by the wind, flew aboard one of the landing crafts that troops used to storm the beaches of Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "D-Day flag that flew at Normandy landing gifted to US 75 years later. Trump accepts flag from Netherlands PM," 19 July 2019 Since season five, Sansa has been wearing a striking necklace, featuring a large silver circle pierced by a needle. Glamour, "The Meaning Behind Sansa Stark's Necklace on Game of Thrones," 23 Apr. 2019 Baek ushers me into her office, a wash of soothing grays and blues, pierced by a single pink orchid. Jancee Dunn, Vogue, "How California Became the World’s Fertility Treatment Destination," 13 Mar. 2019 The country music blaring through the bar was pierced by the sounds of men crying and women screaming—and then, more gunfire. Zusha Elinson, WSJ, "Police Probe Motive in Southern California Bar Massacre," 8 Nov. 2018 Some parents in Fort Bend ISD, which includes schools that serve a part of Shadow Creek Ranch, worried that portable classroom buildings, with thin metal siding, would be easily pierced by bullets. Jaimy Jones, Houston Chronicle, "Santa Fe shooting sparks concerns, discussion in Pearland," 21 May 2018 But at 5:15 the hush was pierced by a rattling gobble. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Fulfillment on Gobbler's Ridge comes from more than just harvesting turkeys," 12 May 2018 The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Is there anything more unsettling than Anthony Hopkins’ piercing stare as cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs? Megan Mccluskey, Time, "The 10 Best Horror Movies on Netflix to Stream Right Now," 30 July 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

17 Aug 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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