- 1[transitive, intransitive] to make a small hole in something, or to go through something, with a sharp object pierce something The arrow pierced his shoulder. He pierced another hole in his belt with his knife. to have your ears/nose, etc. pierced (= to have a small hole made in your ears/nose, etc. so that you can wear jewellery there) pierce somebody (figurative) She was pierced to the heart with guilt. pierce through something The knife pierced through his coat. The narrowed blue eyes seemed to pierce right through her.
- 2[transitive, intransitive] pierce (through) something (literary) (of light, sound, etc.) to be suddenly seen or heard Sirens pierced the silence of the night. Shafts of sunlight pierced the heavy mist.
- 3[transitive, intransitive] pierce (through) something to force a way through a barrier synonym penetrate They failed to pierce the Liverpool defence. Word Origin Middle English: from Old French percer, based on Latin pertus-
BrE BrE//pɪəs//; NAmE NAmE//pɪrs//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they pierce
BrE BrE//pɪəs//; NAmE NAmE//pɪrs//he / she / it pierces
BrE BrE//ˈpɪəsɪz//; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɪrsɪz//past simple pierced
BrE BrE//pɪəst//; NAmE NAmE//pɪrst//past participle pierced
BrE BrE//pɪəst//; NAmE NAmE//pɪrst//-ing form piercing
BrE BrE//ˈpɪəsɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɪrsɪŋ//