a structure built on posts extending from land out over water, used as a landing place for ships, an entertainment area, a strolling place, etc.; jetty.
(in a bridge or the like) a support for the ends of adjacent spans.
a square pillar.
a portion of wall between doors, windows, etc.
a pillar or post on which a gate or door is hung.
a support of masonry, steel, or the like for sustaining vertical pressure.
a long passageway or corridor that extends from a central area of a building, especially one at an airport that leads to boarding gates.

before 1150; Middle English pere, earlier (perhaps late Old English) per < Anglo-Latin pera, pēra pier of a bridge

underpier, noun

dock, harbor, pier, wharf (see synonym study at harbor).
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pier (pɪə)
1.  a structure with a deck that is built out over water, and used as a landing place, promenade, etc
2.  a pillar that bears heavy loads, esp one of rectangular cross section
3.  the part of a wall between two adjacent openings
4.  another name for buttress
[C12 per, from Anglo-Latin pera pier supporting a bridge]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1150, "support of a span of a bridge," from M.L. pera, of unknown origin, perhaps from O.N.Fr. pire "a breakwater," from V.L. *petricus, from L. petra "rock." Meaning "solid structure in a harbor, used as a landing place for vessels," is attested from 1453.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Afterward, watch the commercial fishing boats unloading the day's catch on the
Half an hour ago the troll got away, squirming through an escape hatch beneath
  the pier.
For some on the pier, looking up to see this large yacht bearing down on them,
  it was a heart-stopping moment.
Meanwhile, a short distance from the pier was a public boat launch, which had
  little security and easy access.
Image for pier
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