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

dawn on sb

If a fact dawns on you, you understand it after a period of not understanding it.

Word of the Day

The language of work

by Kate Woodford,
October 15, 2014
Most of us talk about our jobs. We tell our family and friends interesting or funny things that have happened in the workplace (=room where we do our job), we describe – and sometimes complain about – our bosses and colleagues and when we meet someone for the first time, we tell

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More