- (General American) IPA(key): /pɪɹs/
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /pɪəs/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɪə(ɹ)s
From Middle English perce, from Old French percier, from its conjugated forms such as (jeo) pierce (“I pierce”), probably from Vulgar Latin *pertūsiō, from Latin pertūsus, past participle of pertundō (“thrust or bore through”), from per- (“through”) + tundō (“beat, pound”). Displaced native Old English þurhþȳrlian.
- (transitive) to puncture; to break through
- The diver pierced the surface of the water with scarcely a splash.
- to pierce the enemy's line; a shot pierced the ship
- (transitive) to create a hole in the skin for the purpose of inserting jewelry
- Can you believe he pierced his tongue?
- (transitive) to break or interrupt abruptly
- A scream pierced the silence.
- (transitive, figuratively) To get to the heart or crux of (a matter).
- to pierce a mystery
- (transitive, figuratively) To penetrate; to affect deeply.
- c. 1596–1598, William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene i]:
- Can no prayers pierce thee?
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
pierce (plural pierces)