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 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.
to force or make a way into or through something; penetrate:to pierce to the heart.
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.
BiographicalFranklin, 1804–69, 14th president of the U.S. 1853–57.
BiographicalJohn Robinson, born 1910, U.S. electrical engineer: helped develop communications satellites.