Definition of pier in English:



  • 1A platform on pillars projecting from the shore into the sea, typically incorporating entertainment arcades and places to eat.

    • ‘People express more obvious delight in the pier arcade than in a museum or art gallery.’
    • ‘He currently owns Blackpool Tower, the Winter Gardens, the town's three piers and a large chunk of the Golden Mile.’
    • ‘The news of the overspend comes as work continues at the shore end of the pier to build a new entrance bridge across the road.’
    • ‘The combination of the beautiful pier, great library, beach, playground and pedestrian mall made for a really fun outing.’
    • ‘A pier and hotels were built and Byron declared itself to be a seaside resort, although tourism was somewhat hindered by the stink of the town's abattoir.’
    • ‘There would be piers, cafes, a wee beach type affair resplendent with the shiny pebbles, seaweed and rock pools remembered from childhood.’
    • ‘He called for the provision of toilets on piers and harbours.’
    • ‘Some of the more radical ideas floated include a new pier full of restaurants and bars, and the removal of all car parking from the dock area.’
    • ‘One pier is vibrant with candyfloss, arcades and people, the other stands derelict and rusty.’
    • ‘The shops weren't as good, there were no amusement arcades and no pier or beach.’
    • ‘However, visits to arcades on piers or family amusement centres suggest that this form of gambling is no longer conducted within a family environment.’
    • ‘Leisure Parcs already owns Blackpool's Tower, the landmark that symbolizes the town, its three piers, an opera house, a sealife centre and a wax museum.’
    • ‘Wildwood has three amusement piers, which is fun, but on this trip they all seemed designed specifically for my humiliation.’
    • ‘I found my way to a snack establishment near the pier operated by a businesswoman from Kyushu.’
    • ‘We are eager that the Pier becomes a community asset so we are offering Local artists/Crafts/Charities a free stall for a week to promote themselves & raise awareness/funds.’
    1. 1.1A structure projecting from the shore into a river, lake, or the sea, used as a landing stage for boats.
      • ‘A safety zone was established around all visiting Navy and foreign ships as they transited to their berths at Manhattan's piers on the Hudson River.’
      • ‘There are two families resident there and the new 30-metre pier will greatly improve access to the island.’
      • ‘They made their way down the pier to the boat landings.’
      • ‘These laws ensure that all ships will be closely monitored and I.D required for access to the new pier.’
      • ‘The grounds include a boat shed and pier with river and lake frontages, as well as lawn areas and a number of mature shrubs.’
      • ‘Rates for boats using the pier were also announced, with the final amount differing from original discussions.’
      • ‘The driver pointed a white-gloved hand in the direction of a small ferry boat waiting at the pier, its engine idling.’
      • ‘She smelled fish when the boat came alongside the pier.’
      • ‘Staircases descend beneath most homes, creating personal piers for every resident's most valued possession - a boat.’
      • ‘As soon as the ship was close to the wharf, he jumped from the boat to the pier.’
      • ‘Looking, we saw two people, a male and a female, laughing, hugging, kissing and giggling as they went down the pier to a sail boat.’
      • ‘Ferry operators have welcomed the funding which will make the pier fully accessible and increase the efficiency of the ferry service.’
      • ‘This brought all its exhibitors together in one building instead of scattered among four piers at the Passenger Ship Terminals, the show's previous home.’
      • ‘A friend of mine had a similar experience disembarking two passengers at the pier.’
      • ‘Here, piers for lake boats delivering coal and oil to wholesale distributors, as well as building materials, were busy for many decades.’
      • ‘Existing state marinas were built from the 1950s to 1970s, boat ramps and piers even earlier.’
      • ‘The pier at Ballinskelligs dries at low water, so passengers transfer to and from the larger boats by tender.’
      • ‘And they can come right into the pier at Invergordon, which passengers love because they don't have to climb into launches to go ashore.’
      • ‘One pier will be operated by the city as a ferry terminal, although it will be integrated into the museum complex.’
      • ‘Business will get a say in regional transport projects, such as new access roads or pier extensions, through membership of the new regional transport boards.’
      jetty, quay, wharf, dock, landing, landing stage, landing place, slipway, marina, waterfront, breakwater, mole, groyne, dyke, sea wall, embankment
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    2. 1.2A breakwater or mole.
      • ‘The trunnions and all the operational machinery are housed within the superstructure of the carina piers.’
      • ‘We have to extend both piers with new breakwaters to the east and then curve them towards each other.’
      • ‘The harbour entrance itself was guarded by two breakwater piers of heavy sandstone construction for most of their length.’
      • ‘In the 19th century the greatest engineering addition to the bay was the construction of the Harbour with its two-tiered breakwaters or piers and wonderful granite stonework.’
      • ‘The 1.1-acre site has access to a small bathing area and harbour enclosed by a concrete pier and a breakwater.’
      breakwater, groyne, dyke, jetty, sea wall, embankment, causeway
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  • 2British A long, narrow structure projecting from an airport terminal, giving passengers access to an aircraft.

    • ‘The consultant professor is currently assessing the merits of building the low-cost pier at Dublin airport.’
    • ‘We had queues forming before the plane was fully boarded, during patches of severe turbulence and when the plane had landed but was waiting on the taxi way for a free pier.’
    • ‘If you're flying in, you can avoid the three-hour-plus bus ride from Seattle / Tacoma Airport to the piers in Vancouver.’
    • ‘Did you know they are building another pier at North Terminal, and as part of it they are building a bridge that has to be wide enough to span the taxi way and tall enough for a 707 to pass under?’
    • ‘It has supported a proposal for the provision of a low cost terminal D pier at Dublin Airport.’
    • ‘The modular pier systems are an innovation in airport terminal design.’
    • ‘The total cost of building the pier and terminal is estimated at £15.5 million.’
    • ‘The most urgent capital projects were the construction of a new foreign arrivals building, a foreign pier and a domestic arrivals building with a multi-storey car park.’
    • ‘The project includes the construction of a new passenger terminal and adjacent facilities, including new piers for the aircraft, taxiways and runway lines, as well as a parking area for cars, among other items.’
    • ‘No Aer Rianta airport will be chosen as the low-fares airline has not been given permission to build a new pier at Dublin Airport.’
  • 3A solid support designed to sustain vertical pressure, in particular.

    • ‘Located by field-walking, the barn was 35.7m long by 15.4m wide with 20 piers.’
    • ‘The new second-floor structure rests on existing pier footings, reducing foundation costs.’
    • ‘Hammerheads are 45-m-long box fabrications made integrally with V-shaped supports of similar proportions bearing on the piers.’
    • ‘Repairs will include putting in foundations and building support piers.’
    • ‘The piers are designed as hollow box sections with an average height of 25 m.’
    • ‘The design load capacity of each caisson at the anchor piers is 1,640 tons.’
    • ‘The irregular shape of the hollow piers was an especially difficult design challenge.’
    • ‘The post extends from the top of the pier to the base of the beam.’
    • ‘Concrete piers in the corners support the large concrete beams, making it possible to have the long walls free of vertical supports.’
    • ‘A ledger supports the same loads as a beam, but instead of resting on posts or piers, it is mechanically attached to an existing structure.’
    • ‘Each used these piers both for structural support and air distribution.’
    • ‘The pavilion's materials are elemental: structural concrete piers and tube steel, extensive glass walls, stained cedar siding, and metal roofing and trim.’
    • ‘It was built in 1938 by the Glasgow architect and is on brick piers to ensure the house is protected from flooding.’
    • ‘Concrete piers support open space above the base, making the top seven stories seem to float.’
    • ‘Also include some of the pier / vertical supports under the center area as well as the perimeter ones.’
    • ‘Crews excavated as much as 28 ft to add a new first floor and basement and drilled in 687 concrete-filled steel piers.’
    • ‘The analysis will also result in a recommendation for the maximum end-bearing pressure for bedrock piers.’
    • ‘To maximize the view, he positioned the house perpendicular to the river, angled the river-side wall, and raised the home on 18-inch reinforced concrete piers.’
    • ‘Piles and piers are designed using load test data and design methods available in literature.’
    • ‘The piers and abutments are concrete with ten steel trusses with a curved steel plate girder at each end.’
    1. 3.1The pillar of an arch or supporting a bridge.
      • ‘The bridge's support system features two concrete pylons and two concrete anchor piers.’
      • ‘Various foundation types have been adopted to support the bridge piers and abutments.’
      • ‘He said: ‘These were then lifted one at a time into place on top of the supporting piers to form the bridge.’’
      • ‘‘We could have built a conventional multi-span bridge supported by piers for about 20 per cent less,’ he said.’
      • ‘You could take off the Brooklyn Bridge's asphalt, remove half of the cables, make the piers a little narrower, make the span shorter, and you would still have a quite viable bridge.’
      support, cutwater, pile, piling, plinth, pedestal, foot, footing, abutment, buttress, stanchion, prop, stay, upright, pillar, post, column
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    2. 3.2A wall between windows or other adjacent openings.
      • ‘Upon approaching the site, the main iron gates are anchored with brick piers and cast stone finials that frame the building beyond.’
      • ‘The initial solution was the masonry vault, or a barrel-shaped, load-bearing span that supported the floor above, and rested on massive, and expensive, walls and piers.’
      • ‘Meanwhile the two piers between the windows are equal in width.’
      • ‘The window piers at Hampton Court are also too narrow to accommodate any of the illustrated tables except Figure 5.’
      • ‘With the demolition of the old church began the building of the Community Hall and the piers and gates were re-erected as an entrance.’


Middle English: from medieval Latin pera, of unknown origin.