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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ But the old pier was built on top of the northern tip, and the coral below died, he said.
▪ Often two or three ships sit anchored off Cozumel because there is no room at the old pier.
▪ For more than a few summers, this old pier was something to see on a Sunday afternoon.
▪ The vault was supported on eight massive stone piers fronted by granite columns 38 feet high.
▪ He stood with the others on the great stone pier.
▪ Under the pavement of the baths was a lower floor upon which were built small piers of tiles about two feet high.
▪ Developers have been trying for years to finish building a cruise ship pier that will bring more jobs and tourism to Cozumel.
▪ It is supported on octagonal ribbed piers with tiny foliated capitals.
▪ Inside the church, where the lighting is subdued but not dim, the central dome is supported on eight piers.
▪ The cruise boards at 7 p.m. at Pier 33.
▪ He said he had managed to swim under the pier and had found a ledge.
▪ He stood with the others on the great stone pier.
▪ Inside the church, where the lighting is subdued but not dim, the central dome is supported on eight piers.
▪ The pier was filled with hundreds of people.
▪ The green car was behind them on the pier, in the third line of queuing cars.
▪ They had applauded him on the pier.
▪ Time, weather, and long neglect had taken the piers beyond dilapidation.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Pier \Pier\, n. [OE. pere, OF. piere a stone, F. pierre, fr. L. petra, Gr. ?. Cf. Petrify.]

  1. (Arch.)

    1. Any detached mass of masonry, whether insulated or supporting one side of an arch or lintel, as of a bridge; the piece of wall between two openings.

    2. Any additional or auxiliary mass of masonry used to stiffen a wall. See Buttress.

  2. A projecting wharf or landing place.

    Abutment pier, the pier of a bridge next the shore; a pier which by its strength and stability resists the thrust of an arch.

    Pier glass, a mirror, of high and narrow shape, to be put up between windows.

    Pier table, a table made to stand between windows.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

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.


n. 1 A raised platform built from the shore out over water, supported on piles; used to secure, or provide access to shipping; a jetty. 2 A similar structure, especially at a seaside resort, used to provide entertainment. 3 (context US nautical English) A structure that projects tangentially from the shoreline to accommodate ships; often double-sided. 4 A structure supporting the junction between two spans of a bridge. 5 (context architecture English) A rectangular pillar, or similar structure, that supports an arch, wall or roof.

  1. n. a platform built out from the shore into the water and supported by piles; provides access to ships and boats [syn: wharf, wharfage, dock]

  2. (architecture) a vertical supporting structure (as a portion of wall between two doors or windows)

  3. a support for two adjacent bridge spans


thumb|right|Seaside pleasure pier in Brighton, England. The first seaside piers were built in England in the early 19th century

A pier is a raised structure typically supported by well-spaced piles or pillars. Bridges, buildings, and walkways may all be supported by piers. Their open structure allows tides and currents to flow relatively unhindered, whereas the more solid foundations of a quay or the closely spaced piles of a wharf can act as a breakwater, and are consequently more liable to silting. Piers can range in size and complexity from a simple lightweight wooden structure to major structures extended over 1600 metres. In American English, pier may be synonymous with dock.

Piers have been built for several purposes, and because these different purposes have distinct regional variances, the term pier tends to have different nuances of meaning in different parts of the world. Thus in North America and Australia, where many ports were, until recently, built on the multiple pier model, the term tends to imply a current or former cargo-handling facility. In Europe in contrast, where ports more often use basins and river-side quays than piers, the term is principally associated with the image of a Victorian cast iron pleasure pier. However, the earliest piers pre-date the Victorian age.

Pier (architecture)

A pier, in architecture, is an upright support for a structure or superstructure such as an arch or bridge. Sections of structural walls between openings (bays) can function as piers.

Pier (disambiguation)

A pier is a raised walkway over water, supported by widely spread piles or pillars.

Pier may also refer to:

  • Pier (architecture), an upright support used in buildings or set between two spans of a bridge
  • Pier (given name)
  • Pier Tol (born 1958), Dutch retired footballer nicknamed "Pier"

PIER may mean:

  • Physicians' Information and Education Resource, a decision-support tool
  • Percutaneous intentional extraluminal revascularization, a procedure in interventional radiology
Pier (given name)

Pier is a given name which may refer to:

  • Pier Angeli (1932-1971), Italian actress
  • Pier Luigi Bersani (born 1951), Italian politician
  • Pier Paolo Bianchi (born 1952), Italian former Grand Prix motorcycle road racing world champion
  • Pier Ferdinando Casini (born 1955), Italian politician
  • Pier Luigi Cherubino (born 1971), Spanish former footballer
  • Pier Paolo Crescenzi (1572–1645), Italian Catholic cardinal
  • Pier Gerlofs Donia (c. 1480–1520), Frisian warrior, pirate and rebel
  • Pier Luigi Farnese, Duke of Parma (1503-1547), first Duke of Parma, Piacenza and Castro
  • Pier Giorgio Frassati (1901-1925), Italian Catholic social activist beatified by the Catholic Church
  • Pier Leone Ghezzi (1674–1755), Italian Rococo painter and caricaturist
  • Pier Gonella, Italian guitarist
  • Pier Leoni (died 1128), Roman consul
  • Pier Antonio Micheli (1679–1737), Italian botanist and Catholic priest
  • Pier Francesco Mola (1612–1666), Italian painter
  • Pier Luigi Nervi (1891–1979), Italian engineer
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975), Italian writer, film director and poet
  • Pier Ruggero Piccio (1880-1965), Italian World War I flying ace and founding Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force
  • Pier Andrea Saccardo (1845–1920), Italian botanist and mycologist
  • Pier Paolo Vergerio the Elder (1370-1444 or 1445), Italian humanist, statesman and canon lawyer
  • Pier Paolo Vergerio (c. 1498–1565), Italian religious reformer

Usage examples of "pier".

This illustration is not intended to apply to the older bridges with widely distended masses, which render each pier sufficient to abut the arches springing from it, but tend, in providing for a way over the river, to choke up the way by the river itself, or to compel the river either to throw down the structure or else to destroy its own banks.

Eads, the engineer, determined to establish the piers and abutments on rock at a depth for the east pier and east abutment of 136 ft.

The hardier swimmers, with Paul, struck out for the abutment on the pier in their usual way and poor Michael was left alone.

On the other hand, a girder imposes only a vertical load on its piers and abutments, and not a horizontal thrust, as in the case of an arch or suspension chain.

The substructure of a bridge comprises the piers, abutments and foundations.

He lowered himself down the two stories to the topside deck and saluted the aft flag and the topside sentry, then walked over the gangway to the pier.

Seawolf responded to the rudder, the nose cone avoiding the pier to the south of pier 4 as the vessel moved into the channel and a violent white foamy wake boiled up aft at the rudder.

Friendly One as well as the frigate aft on the seaward side of the pier.

But if the nukes aft could get propulsion they could take control of the rudder, and with Lennox in the sail and communications with the walkie-talkies, Lennox and the nukes alone could drive the ship away from the pier.

The tower certainly stood on the site of the present tower, as Roman ashlaring has been discovered on the north-west side of the north-west tower pier, above the vault of the side aisle, and also portions of a shaft with a base, which probably belonged to the Norman clerestory.

This was effected in the following manner:--The pier in the middle of the new aisle was removed, together with the whole of the narrow arch which it supported on the one side and the wider arch which it supported on the other.

This inter-penetration of mouldings is found also on the aisle side of the main piers of the choir, and is more characteristic of later German Gothic than of English.

Each one of the stones in the immense building, the little columns in the windows, the bell-towers of its piers, the flying buttresses of its apse, all have a murmur which I can distinguish, a language which I understand.

Later, when they returned to the motor-boat, Aragon met them halfway down the pier.

Some of the piers of the nave arcading have also been partially renewed.