- loud or shrill, as the quality of a voice.
- extremely cold or bitter: a piercing wind.
- appearing to gaze deeply or penetratingly into something: piercing eyes.
- perceptive or aware; acute: a piercing mind.
- sarcastic or caustic; cutting: piercing remarks.
verb (used with object), pierced, pierc·ing.
- to penetrate into or run through (something), as a sharp, pointed dagger, object, or instrument does.
- to make a hole or opening in.
- to bore into or through; tunnel.
- to perforate.
- to make (a hole, opening, etc.) by or as by boring or perforating.
- to make a way or path into or through: a road that pierces the dense jungle.
- to penetrate with the eye or mind; see into or through: She couldn’t pierce his thoughts.
- to affect sharply with some sensation or emotion, as of cold, pain, or grief: The wind pierced her body. Her words pierced our hearts.
- to sound sharply through (the air, stillness, etc.): A pistol shot pierced the night.
verb (used without object), pierced, pierc·ing.
- to force or make a way into or through something; penetrate: to pierce to the heart.
- (of a sound) sharp and shrill
- (of eyes or a look) intense and penetrating
- (of an emotion) strong and deeply affecting
- (of cold or wind) intense or biting
- the art or practice of piercing body parts for the insertion of jewellery
- an instance of the piercing of a body part
verb (mainly tr)
- to form or cut (a hole) in (something) with or as if with a sharp instrument
- to thrust into or penetrate sharply or violentlythe thorn pierced his heel
- to force (a way, route, etc) through (something)
- (of light) to shine through or penetrate (darkness)
- (also intr) to discover or realize (something) suddenly or (of an idea) to become suddenly apparent
- (of sounds or cries) to sound sharply through (the silence)
- to move or affect (a person’s emotions, bodily feelings, etc) deeply or sharplythe cold pierced their bones
- (intr) to penetrate or be capable of penetratingpiercing cold
- Franklin. 1804–69, US statesman; 14th president of the US (1853–57)
adj.in reference to cold, sound, etc., early 15c., present participle adjective from pierce (v.). Figuratively, of pain, grief, etc., from late 14c. Related: Piercingly. n.late 14c., verbal noun from pierce (v.). v.late 13c. “make a hole in; force one’s way through,” from Anglo-French perser, Old French percier “pierce, transfix, drive through” (12c., Modern French percer), probably from Vulgar Latin *pertusiare, frequentative of Latin pertusus, past participle of pertundere “to thrust or bore through,” from per- “through” (see per) + tundere “to beat, pound,” from PIE *tund-, from root *(s)teu- “to push, strike, knock, beat, thrust” (see obtuse). Related: Pierced; piercing.