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piercing

[peer-sing] /ˈpɪər sɪŋ/
adjective
1.
loud or shrill, as the quality of a voice.
2.
extremely cold or bitter:
a piercing wind.
3.
appearing to gaze deeply or penetratingly into something:
piercing eyes.
4.
perceptive or aware; acute:
a piercing mind.
5.
sarcastic or caustic; cutting:
piercing remarks.
Origin of piercing
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English; see pierce, -ing2
Related forms
piercingly, adverb
piercingness, noun
unpiercing, adjective
Synonyms
1. grating, strident, screeching.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for piercingly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the near distance the heath stretched away for miles, and although it was piercingly cold, the scene was almost attractive.

    The Everlasting Arms Joseph Hocking
  • We should have been most comfortable but for the piercingly cold draughts.

    The Last Voyage Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
  • He held out his hand, staring frankly, but piercingly, into John's eyes.

    The Hill Horace Annesley Vachell
  • Zane,” he replied, piercingly, “what you need for your hat is a head!

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
  • The day was piercingly cold, and to remain there long would have been unpleasant enough.

    Bruin Mayne Reid
  • “And piercingly cold, my dear John,” interrupted Mrs Sudberry.

    Freaks on the Fells R.M. Ballantyne
  • It was a region of great extremes of temperature,--the summers being hot, and the winters piercingly cold.

  • It was almost too warm, although the weather outside was piercingly cold.

    Peter Simple Frederick Marryat
  • And then, piercingly through the thunderings of the copper shell, a voice broke in—Ianito's voice.

    The Copper-Clad World Harl Vincent
British Dictionary definitions for piercingly

piercing

/ˈpɪəsɪŋ/
adjective
1.
(of a sound) sharp and shrill
2.
(of eyes or a look) intense and penetrating
3.
(of an emotion) strong and deeply affecting
4.
(of cold or wind) intense or biting
noun
5.
the art or practice of piercing body parts for the insertion of jewellery
6.
an instance of the piercing of a body part
Derived Forms
piercingly, adverb
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
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Word Origin and History for piercingly

piercing

adj.

in reference to cold, sound, etc., early 15c., present participle adjective from pierce (v.). Figuratively, of pain, grief, etc., from late 14c. Related: Piercingly.

n.

late 14c., verbal noun from pierce (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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