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
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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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