UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈpɪərsɪŋ/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/ˈpɪrsɪŋ/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(pērsing)

From the verb pierce: (⇒ conjugate)
piercing is: Click the infinitive to see all available inflections
v pres pverb, present participle: -ing verb used descriptively or to form progressive verb--for example, "a singing bird," "It is singing."

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
pier•cing /ˈpɪrsɪŋ/USA pronunciation   adj. 
  1. penetrating, as with the eye or mind:He gazed at her with a piercing look.
  2. causing or bringing about a strong emotion:a piercing memory of their former love.
  3. sharp or loud:a piercing scream.
  4. (of a wind or the cold) biting:a piercing wind.
pier•cing•ly, adv. 

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
pierc•ing  (pērsing),USA pronunciation adj. 
  1. loud or shrill, as the quality of a voice.
  2. extremely cold or bitter:a piercing wind.
  3. appearing to gaze deeply or penetratingly into something:piercing eyes.
  4. perceptive or aware;
    acute:a piercing mind.
  5. sarcastic or caustic;
    cutting:piercing remarks.
piercing•ly, adv. 
piercing•ness, n. 
  • 1375–1425; late Middle English; see pierce, -ing2
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged . grating, strident, screeching.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
piercing /ˈpɪəsɪŋ/ adj
  1. (of a sound) sharp and shrill
  2. (of eyes or a look) intense and penetrating
  3. (of cold or wind) intense or biting
  1. the art or practice of piercing body parts for the insertion of jewellery
  2. an instance of the piercing of a body part

ˈpiercingly adv
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
pierce /pɪrs/USA pronunciation   v.,  pierced, pierc•ing. 
  1. to penetrate or go through (something), as a pointed object does: [+ object]The spear pierced his leg and he fell.[no object]An arrow pierced through his arm.
  2. to make a hole or opening in:[+ object]She got her ears pierced.
  3. to make (a hole) by or as if by drilling, etc.:[+ object]They pierced a hole through the ship's hull.
  4. to force or make a way into or through:[+ object]a road that pierces the jungle.
  5. to sound sharply through (the air, etc.), as a cry:[+ object]A scream pierced the silence of the night.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
pierce  (pērs),USA pronunciation v.,  pierced, pierc•ing. 
  1. to penetrate into or run through (something), as a sharp, pointed dagger, object, or instrument does.
  2. to make a hole or opening in.
  3. to bore into or through;
  4. to perforate.
  5. to make (a hole, opening, etc.) by or as by boring or perforating.
  6. to make a way or path into or through:a road that pierces the dense jungle.
  7. to penetrate with the eye or mind;
    see into or through:She couldn't pierce his thoughts.
  8. to affect sharply with some sensation or emotion, as of cold, pain, or grief:The wind pierced her body. Her words pierced our hearts.
  9. to sound sharply through (the air, stillness, etc.):A pistol shot pierced the night.

  1. to force or make a way into or through something;
    penetrate:to pierce to the heart.
piercea•ble, adj. 
piercer, n. 
  • Vulgar Latin *pertūsiāre, verb, verbal derivative of Latin pertūsus, past participle of pertundere to bore a hole through, perforate, equivalent. to per- per- + tundere to strike, beat
  • Old French perc(i)er
  • Middle English percen 1250–1300
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged enter, puncture.
      Pierce, penetrate suggest the action of one object passing through another or making a way through and into another. The terms are used both concretely and figuratively. To
      pierce is to perforate quickly, as by stabbing;
      it suggests the use of a sharp, pointed instrument which is impelled by force:to pierce the flesh with a knife; a scream pierces one's ears.Penetrate suggests a slow or difficult movement:No ordinary bullet can penetrate an elephant's hide; to penetrate the depths of one's ignorance.
    • 8.See corresponding entry in Unabridged touch, move, strike, thrill.

Pierce  (pērs),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. BiographicalFranklin, 1804–69, 14th president of the U.S. 1853–57.
  2. BiographicalJohn Robinson, born 1910, U.S. electrical engineer: helped develop communications satellites.
  3. a male given name, form of  Peter. 

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
pierce /pɪəs/ vb (mainly tr)
  1. to thrust into or penetrate sharply or violently
  2. to force (a way, route, etc) through (something)
  3. (of light) to shine through or penetrate (darkness)
  4. (also intr) to discover or realize (something) suddenly or (of an idea) to become suddenly apparent
  5. (of sounds or cries) to sound sharply through (the silence)
  6. to move or affect (a person's emotions, bodily feelings, etc) deeply or sharply
  7. (intransitive) to penetrate or be capable of penetrating: piercing cold
Etymology: 13th Century percen, from Old French percer, ultimately from Latin pertundere, from per through + tundere to strike
'piercing' also found in these entries (note: many are not synonyms or translations):

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