Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “piercing”

piercing

adjective uk   /ˈpɪə.sɪŋ/ us    /ˈpɪr-/
going through or into something: Troops have been issued with new armour-piercing anti-tank grenades. very cold, or making you feel very cold: We shivered in the piercing wind. (of a sound) high, loud, and unpleasant: piercing screams a piercing criticism, question, remark, etc. a criticism, question, remark, etc. that is unpleasant or uncomfortable because it is strong or it makes you think about or discuss something that you would prefer not to: She hadn't really meant to lie, but their piercing questions had forced her to. piercing eyes, look, gaze, etc. used to describe when a person looks very carefully at someone or something, especially when they are trying to discover something, often making people feel uncomfortable: Sherlock Holmes gave him a piercing glance. He looked straight at me with his piercing blue eyes.
piercingly
adverb uk   /-li/ us  

piercing

noun [C or U] uk (also body piercing)   /ˈpɪə.sɪŋ/ us    /ˈpɪr-/
a hole made in the body for wearing jewellery, or the process of making such a hole: He has several tattoos and multiple piercings.
(Definition of piercing from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of piercing?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Making holes in things, but you might be interested in these topics from the Cutting and joining topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “piercing” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

for starters

used to say that something is the first in a list of things

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

ped-text verb

November 24, 2014
to text someone while walking I’m ped-texting, I’m looking down at my phone, 75 percent of the time.

Read More