- To thrust into, penetrate, or transfix, with a pointed instrument."I pierce. . . her tender side." [Dryden.]
- To penetrate; to enter; to force a way into or through; to pass into or through; as, to pierce the enemy's line; a shot pierced the ship.
- Fig.: To penetrate; to affect deeply; as, to pierce a mystery." Piercedwith grief." [Pope.]"Can no prayers pierce thee?" [Shak.]
Etymology: OE. percen, F. percer, OF. percier perchier parchier; perh. fr. (assumed) LL. pertusiare for pertusare, fr. L. pertundere pertusum, to beat, push, bore through; per through + tundere to beat: cf. OF. pertuisier to pierce, F. pertuis a hole. Cf. Contuse Parch Pertuse