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 But in Silicon Valley, TikTok is regarded as having traced a uniquely enviable rise, becoming the first Chinese app to truly pierce the global Internet mainstream. Drew Harwell, Washington Post, "TikTok’s Beijing roots fuel censorship suspicion as it builds a huge U.S. audience," 15 Sep. 2019 For example, radar is needed to pierce the opaque, sulfuric acid clouds and see the surface. Paul K. Byrne, The Conversation, "Why we need to get back to Venus," 23 Aug. 2019 For the women trying to collect from his estate, the first order of business will be persuading a judge to pierce that veil and release the details. Curt Anderson, BostonGlobe.com, "Jeffrey Epstein may have gamed the system from beyond the grave," 22 Aug. 2019 For the women trying to collect from his estate, the first order of business will be persuading a judge to pierce that veil and release the details. Curt Anderson, Anchorage Daily News, "Epstein may have gamed the system from beyond the grave," 22 Aug. 2019 Real estate attorneys have been known to pierce a home flipper’s corporate veil. Pat Kapowich, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: Buyer regrets purchasing a ‘flip’ home and needs to recover extra costs," 18 July 2019 Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the chicken breasts registers 165 degrees and the vegetables are tender when pierced with a skewer. BostonGlobe.com, "Sheet-pan chicken with zucchini, tomatoes, and herbs," 10 Sep. 2019 The potatoes should be done by this time, looking crisped on the outside, puffed and tender when pierced with a knife. Bonnie S. Benwick, The Denver Post, "Step up your steak night with cumin-rubbed flank and chimichurri potatoes," 21 Aug. 2019 Step 6 The potatoes should be done by this time, looking crisped on the outside, puffed and tender when pierced with a knife. Bonnie S. Benwick, Washington Post, "Step up your steak night with cumin-rubbed flank and chimichurri potatoes," 20 Aug. 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.

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

Statistics for pierce

Last Updated

26 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for pierce

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pierce

pierce

verb
How to pronounce Pierce (audio)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on pierce

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pierce

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pierce

Spanish Central: Translation of pierce

Nglish: Translation of pierce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pierce for Arabic Speakers

Comments on pierce

What made you want to look up pierce? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

something of little or no value

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!