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See also: Pierce



From Middle English perce, from Old French percier, from its conjugated forms such as (jeo) pierce (I pierce), probably from Late Latin *pertūsiō, from Latin pertūsus, past participle of pertundō (thrust or bore through), from per- (through) + tundō (beat, pound).


  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪə(r)s


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
    • Dryden
      I pierce [] her tender side.
  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, figuratively) To get to the heart or crux of (a matter).
    to pierce a mystery
  5. (transitive, figuratively) To penetrate; to affect deeply.
    • Alexander Pope
      pierced with grief
    • Shakespeare
      Can no prayers pierce thee?

Derived terms[edit]



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