follow Dictionary.com

What is the X in X-mas?

pier

[peer] /pɪər/
noun
1.
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.
2.
(in a bridge or the like) a support for the ends of adjacent spans.
3.
a square pillar.
4.
a portion of wall between doors, windows, etc.
5.
a pillar or post on which a gate or door is hung.
6.
a support of masonry, steel, or the like for sustaining vertical pressure.
7.
a long passageway or corridor that extends from a central area of a building, especially one at an airport that leads to boarding gates.
Origin
late Old English
1150
before 1150; Middle English pere, earlier (perhaps late Old English) per < Anglo-Latin pera, pēra pier of a bridge
Related forms
underpier, noun
Can be confused
dock, harbor, pier, wharf.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for pier
  • Afterward, watch the commercial fishing boats unloading the day's catch on the pier.
  • The absence of light gives the pier a ghostly appearance.
  • Already, a first floating pier has arrived, along with heavy cranes.
  • Each segment of the skyway is supported independently on its own pier.
  • Navy dive teams and construction workers are also working on the pier.
  • 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.
  • Many of their pursuers had waded into the water shaking their fists, but the sea was rough, and they could not reach the pier.
  • From looking at aerial photos, my guess is the generators were on a pier where the fuel tanks could be replenished by boat.
British Dictionary definitions for pier

pier

/pɪə/
noun
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 (sense 1)
Word Origin
C12 per, from Anglo-Latin pera pier supporting a bridge
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for pier
n.

mid-12c., "support of a span of a bridge," from Medieval Latin pera, of unknown origin, perhaps from Old North French pire "a breakwater," from Vulgar Latin *petricus, from Latin petra "rock" (see petrous), but OED is against this. Meaning "solid structure in a harbor, used as a landing place for vessels," is attested from mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for pier

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for pier

6
7
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with pier