Synonym Chooser

How does the verb pierce differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of pierce are enter, penetrate, and probe. While all these words mean "to make way into something," pierce means an entering or cutting through with a sharp pointed instrument.

pierced the boil with a lancet

When might enter be a better fit than pierce?

While the synonyms enter and pierce are close in meaning, enter is the most general of these and may imply either going in or forcing a way in.

entered the city in triumph

When is penetrate a more appropriate choice than pierce?

While in some cases nearly identical to pierce, penetrate carries a strong implication of an impelling force or compelling power that achieves entrance.

the enemy penetrated the fortress

Where would probe be a reasonable alternative to pierce?

The synonyms probe and pierce are sometimes interchangeable, but probe implies penetration to investigate or explore something hidden from sight or knowledge.

probed the depths of the sea

Thesaurus Entries Near pierce

Cite this Entry

“Pierce.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/pierce. Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

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