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[peer] /pɪər/
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.
Origin of pier
late Old English
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for piers
  • The key ingredient of the superglue that mussels use to attach themselves to rocks, boats and piers is iron, scientists say.
  • Considerable damage to mobile homes, poorly constructed signs, and piers.
  • Handed-down wisdom and worked-up information remain the double piers of a cook's life.
  • piers talks to two villagers who can answer that question.
  • After being lashed against other boats and piers, our boat was broken into small pieces.
  • The city is home to a selection of charter boat companies, public boat ramps and piers for anglers to cast from.
  • It will help you get your bearings on where the various piers are located.
  • Fishing piers and platforms shall be on an accessible route.
  • Squid feed mainly at night and are attracted to light, which is why public piers are good locations for anglers.
  • Given the magnitude of tensile stresses, the deck is expected to crack over the piers.
British Dictionary definitions for piers


a structure with a deck that is built out over water, and used as a landing place, promenade, etc
a pillar that bears heavy loads, esp one of rectangular cross section
the part of a wall between two adjacent openings
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
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Word Origin and History for piers


common Old French form of masc. proper name Peter (q.v.).



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
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