From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Pierce



Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English perce, from conjugated forms of Old French percier 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 þȳrlian (literally to hole).


pierce (third-person singular simple present pierces, present participle piercing, simple past and past participle pierced)

  1. (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
  2. (transitive) To create a hole in the skin for the purpose of inserting jewelry.
    Can you believe he pierced his tongue?
  3. (transitive) to break or interrupt abruptly
    A scream pierced the silence.
  4. (transitive, figurative) To get to the heart or crux of (a matter).
    to pierce a mystery
  5. (transitive, figurative) To penetrate; to affect deeply.
Derived terms[edit]
  • Dutch: piercing
  • Japanese: ピアス
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

Borrowed from Japanese ピアス (piasu, pierced earring), itself from English pierce.


pierce (plural pierces)

  1. (Japan) A pierced earring.