Definition of piercing in English:

piercing

adjective

  • 1Having or showing shrewdness or keen intelligence.

    ‘her piercing analysis’
    ‘a tall blonde with piercing eyes’
    • ‘His eyes were keen, their piercing gaze complementing the wisdom behind them.’
    • ‘What struck him though was the piercing gaze of the other.’
    • ‘When he laughed a bit nervously, she took it as an insult and with a piercing glare asked if he was the reason her daddy wasn't allowed to live here.’
    • ‘His black leather trench coat billowing out behind him as his piercing blue-eyes seemed deep in thought.’
    • ‘I am grateful to an unknown referee whose piercing comment on an earlier version of the paper greatly simplified the proof.’
    • ‘He does, and it's what leads him to some very fine insights and piercing analyses.’
    • ‘A piercing insight and egoless clarity in the assessment of his own future reinstalled his cricketing career once again.’
    • ‘I remove my own sunglasses and give her a piercing glare, though it rarely has any affect on her.’
    • ‘You'll know when you're sat opposite a Scorpio; they'll be holding their knife a little too tightly and pinning you with a deep, piercing gaze.’
    • ‘Shaking with fear the President broke the intense silent with a piercing question.’
    • ‘This is a piercing analysis of political currents and an epic tragedy filled with fascinating characters and antagonisms and beliefs that divided the nation.’
    • ‘He leaves the piercing insights for another day though.’
    • ‘She looked to be in her early thirties, long blonde hair and intelligent, piercing green eyes.’
    • ‘I bet he watched this fine, piercing interview with a sinking heart.’
    • ‘That piercing insight is not included in her Critical Editions though it is implicit in the pages reprinted from her own perceptive book.’
    • ‘With its piercing insights into the human condition, Ecstasy is an actor's paradise.’
    shrewd, discerning, perceptive, probing, searching, observant, penetrating, penetrative, sharp, keen, alert, intent, inquisitive
    perceptive, percipient, perspicacious, penetrating, discerning, discriminating, intelligent, quick-witted, sharp, sharp-witted, shrewd, insightful, keen, acute, astute, clever, smart, incisive, knife-like, razor-edged, trenchant, subtle, quick, ready, clear, sensitive, thoughtful, deep, profound
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    1. 1.1 (of a sound) extremely high or loud.
      ‘she let out a piercing scream’
      • ‘The sharp, piercing wail of the alarm shattered her dream and woke her abruptly from her sleep.’
      • ‘She covered her ears with the piercing sound of shattering glass.’
      • ‘Then his ears picked up another sound, a piercing sound that ran shivers down the entire length of his body.’
      • ‘Not long after the sun rose, a piercing sound went off in Faith's ears.’
      • ‘Jim followed, his eyes still watering from the piercing sound of that chair screaming across the hardwood floor.’
      • ‘One of them had a voice so loud and piercing that you could hear him from one end of the carriage to the other.’
      • ‘The trio was having some pleasant talk about the house when suddenly a loud piercing scream filled the house.’
      • ‘She and the guys turned to go, their peaceful silence only to be interrupted by a loud, piercing scream.’
      • ‘It was a loud and piercing sound that filled the entire room.’
      • ‘It was a split second before the piercing sound broke the air.’
      • ‘A loud, piercing scream escaped her as she saw his face contort into a wild look of determination.’
      • ‘Bronwyn stuck two fingers in her mouth and whistled, a high, piercing sound.’
      • ‘No more though, they began to cry for mercy as the school collectively recoiled from the piercing sound that had broken the silence.’
      • ‘The sharp, piercing shriek of the morning bell sounded in from within the school building, echoing through the campus.’
      • ‘Abruptly he stopped, the sharp, piercing cry of a bird reaching his hearing.’
      • ‘He was cut off in mid-sentence by a loud and piercing scream from the rear of the wagon.’
      • ‘I opened my window, a piercing sound in the almost complete silence.’
      • ‘Suddenly startled, it flew away as the piercing sound of the bell rang out.’
      • ‘Soon enough, the boat's whistle began to blow an eerie piercing sound as the water vehicle began moving.’
      • ‘Jerry and I were in the house alone and I'd just fallen asleep, when I was awakened by a loud piercing scream.’
      shrill, ear-piercing, ear-splitting, high-pitched, air-rending, penetrating, shattering, strident, loud, strong
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    2. 1.2 (of wind or extreme cold) seeming to cut through one.
      ‘the piercing cold of winter’
      • ‘The weather conditions were quite abysmal with the piercing cold and rain testing the stamina and endurance of all players and panel members.’
      • ‘Shutting her mind as tightly as she could, she folded up into a ball and began to shiver uncontrollably in the piercing, soul-biting cold.’
      • ‘He imagined being in the coyote's fur - the piercing cold made him wish even stronger.’
      • ‘It came out cold, a piercing cold that can freeze you solid in your tracks.’
      • ‘Uncaring, the piercing gusts of air sullied his racked frame, and his head pounded with fatigue.’
      • ‘They were all treading through ankle-deep snow in the lot, holding their jackets up to their necks against the piercing gale.’
      • ‘She lay sprawled out across the flagstones relishing the piercing cold and the blistering heat.’
      • ‘Angel managed to find an outcropping of stone to protect her from the piercing, howling wind.’
      • ‘When we went out the first time, a piercing wind had whipped the tops off the crashing waves to send biting showers of stinging sea water at us.’
      • ‘Outside the hut the wind has got up, a strong piercing wind.’
      • ‘As I opened the door, the strong piercing cold, and the rain, stung me in the face.’
      • ‘Her lungs felt heavy from the exercise and her throat ached each time she took a breath of the cold, piercing air.’
      • ‘Suddenly, all around her, the flames froze, and a piercing wind built up.’
      • ‘It took me just one step out to be confronted with piercing wind and the black hostile waves of the North Sea a mere hundred yards away.’
      • ‘After a little while, he put the book away and slipped his jacket back on against the piercing chill of the wind.’
      • ‘At night, I was awakened by the piercing wind and burrowed under the quilt to escape the cold.’
      • ‘However, as I like being in the open, later on I return to the stern, which was the only place to escape the piercing wind.’
      • ‘It snowed on and off all day and a cold piercing wind blew down the streets, along the canyons between the city's skyscrapers.’
      • ‘Suddenly, the temperature made a drop from warm to freezing, as the plants around her froze and the gust of wind became a piercing gale.’
      • ‘It is an enterprise that is always on the job, rain or shine, dry heat or piercing cold.’
      freezing, frosty, frigid, chill, chilling, glacial, arctic, wintry, sharp, keen, biting, stinging, cutting, penetrating, numbing, harsh, fierce, raw, bitter
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    3. 1.3 (of a feeling) intense, typically in a distressing way.
      ‘I recall one moment of piercing sadness’
      • ‘That cold, piercing fear. It could come quickly or slowly, brought on by who knows what.’
      • ‘By reading this book, you'll get an introduction to the hilarious irony of his day-to-day situations, the piercing sadness of his struggle, and the amazing strength he shows in everything he does.’
      • ‘Padlin recognized the kid and a cold flash ran through him, a piercing sense of panic.’
      • ‘On a more intellectual level, he felt a piercing fear that he would only hurt her by drawing her close, that to even be near him was draining her very essence away.’
      • ‘Amanda woke in darkness and for an electrified moment lay perfectly still, roused abruptly from a profound sleep by such piercing terror that she was completely disoriented.’
      • ‘Then a piercing panic hit me: What if the lawyers found this broken glass? Of course they'd suspect foul play.’
      • ‘A painful piercing feeling went through my heart when she did that.’
      • ‘Our daughter was just waking up and seeing her face that morning struck a piercing fear in me.’
      • ‘The D minor Quartet is by far the most tragic of the six, with a piercing sadness that sometimes borders on gloominess.’
      • ‘Besides, he was a refreshing reminder that gentlemen do indeed still exist in the world, which you know has been a piercing fear of mine.’
      • ‘Even then he had responded emotionally, as he would assert, to the deep, piercing sadness of the music.’
      • ‘She felt the piercing sting of humiliation and her heart being broken and torn apart like some fragile letter.’
      • ‘I yelled and wiggled, but I couldn't stop the piercing feeling from growing more intense.’
      • ‘She pronounced it with venomous, piercing rage, like a vulture pouncing on its prey, and then she threw her cup against the wall.’
      • ‘Both babies screamed together, the same pitch, the same sound, the same abrupt, piercing terror and pain.’
      intense, excruciating, agonizing, sharp, stabbing, shooting, stinging, severe, extreme, fierce, harrowing, searing, penetrating, racking, insufferable, unbearable, unendurable, torturous
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noun

  • 1A small hole in a part of the body, typically other than the ears, made so as to insert a ring, stud, or other piece of jewellery.

    ‘this is the place to get your tattoo or piercing done’
    • ‘She explained that she had put together the aftercare bags to ensure people used the right products for all their piercings.’
    • ‘Body piercers who carry out piercings other than to ears still have to comply with workplace health and safety regulations, she adds.’
    • ‘He said more should be done to stop piercings being carried out in non-sterile environments, such as fashion shops.’
    • ‘Off he strolled down the drive, the silver rings and studs in his facial piercings sparkling cheerfully.’
    • ‘Funnily enough though, it's not the pain that stops me from getting a piercing.’
    • ‘He doesn't have so many piercings or tattoos, but he wears a lot of black.’
    • ‘He said he would conduct about six piercings in an average week, the majority of those being bellybuttons.’
    • ‘She had two piercings in each ear and in the holes she wore hoops with a Celtic design and balls in the middle.’
    1. 1.1 A ring, stud, or other piece of jewellery worn in a pierced part of the body.
      ‘two months ago, I decided to take out all my piercings’
      • ‘She showcased her lean physique in the skimpy crochet two-piece - flashing a belly button piercing.’
      • ‘However, Christian was not long for the job after one of his managers told him that he had to remove his piercings while at work.’
      • ‘She kept her accessories to a minimum, save for a belly-button piercing and a light pink tote which she kept next to her sun lounger.’
      • ‘He wore a dark suit and dark sunglasses, but still had on his nose rings and other piercings.’
      • ‘For the movie, she gained weight, cut off her hair, wore piercings and lived in a shelter for three weeks.’
      • ‘Melanie shared a picture of herself without any make-up on as well as some new piercings.’
      • ‘I can easily take my ear piercings out if required and then I look very ordinary.’

Pronunciation

piercing

/ˈpɪəsɪŋ/