Definition of “piercing” - English Dictionary

“piercing” in British English

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uk /ˈpɪə.sɪŋ/ us /ˈpɪr.sɪŋ/

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 expressed strongly, 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 the fact of a person looking 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.
adverb uk /ˈpɪə.sɪŋ.li/ us /ˈpɪr.sɪŋ.li/


uk /ˈpɪə.sɪŋ/ us /ˈpɪr.sɪŋ/

(Definition of “piercing” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“piercing” in American English

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us /ˈpɪər·sɪŋ/

feeling or seeming very sharp or powerful:

He had piercing blue eyes.
She let out a piercing (= loud) shriek.

(Definition of “piercing” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)