Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A platform extending from a shore over water and supported by piles or pillars, used to secure, protect, and provide access to ships or boats.
  • noun Such a structure used predominantly for entertainment.
  • noun A supporting structure at the junction of connecting spans of a bridge.
  • noun Architecture Any of various vertical supporting structures, especially.
  • noun A pillar, generally rectangular in cross section, supporting an arch or roof.
  • noun The portion of a wall between windows, doors, or other openings.
  • noun A reinforcing structure that projects from a wall; a buttress.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A mole or jetty carried out into the sea, to serve as an embankment to protect vessels from the open sea, to form a harbor, etc.
  • noun A projecting quay, wharf, or other landing-place.
  • noun One of the supports of the spans of a bridge, or any structure of similar character.
  • noun In architecture or building:
  • noun The solid support from which an arch springs. See first cut under arch.
  • noun In medieval architecture, a large pillar or shaft; specifically, a compound or a square pillar.
  • noun One of the solid parts between openings in a wall, such as doors and windows.
  • noun The wall or post, of square or other form, to which a gate or door is hung.
  • noun In a physical laboratory or observatory, a structure, generally of masonry, designed by its stability to prevent vibration in instruments which are supported by it.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun 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.
  • noun Any additional or auxiliary mass of masonry used to stiffen a wall. See buttress.
  • noun A projecting wharf or landing place.
  • noun the pier of a bridge next the shore; a pier which by its strength and stability resists the thrust of an arch.
  • noun a mirror, of high and narrow shape, to be put up between windows.
  • noun a table made to stand between windows.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun (architecture) a vertical supporting structure (as a portion of wall between two doors or windows)
  • noun a support for two adjacent bridge spans
  • noun a platform built out from the shore into the water and supported by piles; provides access to ships and boats

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English per, bridge support, partly from Norman French pere, piere (from Old French puiere, a support, from puie, from puier, to support, from Vulgar Latin *podiāre, from Latin podium, platform; see podium) and partly from Medieval Latin pera (from Old North French pire, piere, breakwater, possibly from Latin petra, rock, from Greek petrā; see per- in Indo-European roots).]

Examples

  • Nice fish bud, the pier is a little small though ...

    Great Evening Bass Fishing Pictures!

  • Nice fish bud, the pier is a little small though ...

    Great Evening Bass Fishing Pictures!

  • Just a few hundred feet from the pier is the building that stood in as the bar where Eko went all Jason Vorhees.

    The Tail Section » 2007 » October

  • The land in front of the pier is almost dry and you could easily drive a couple of trucks there.

    Weather in Ajijic

  • One other note that came across our desk here, at BWI, Baltimore Washington International, one of what they call a pier, which sounds to us as one of the places where the plane pulls up -- I mean, there are several gates there -- five gates -- was shut down and evacuated after a white powdery substance was found in a trash can.

    CNN Transcript Oct 17, 2001

  • And the new malecon stretching out from both sides of the Chapala pier is beautiful and replete with more beaches below it's walls.

    weather

  • And the new malecon stretching out from both sides of the Chapala pier is beautiful and replete with more beaches below it's walls.

    weather

  • They'll be done by the time the pier is ready for them.

    Chapter XVI

  • "The loss of any Birch pier is significant," Wills said.

    Fire Ravages Landmark Hastings Pier

  • "The loss of any Birch pier is significant," Wills said.

    Fire Ravages Landmark Hastings Pier

Comments

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  • -- Kingstown pier, Stephen said. Yes, a disappointed bridge. The words troubled their gaze.

    -- How, sir? Comyn asked. A bridge is across a river.

    Joyce, Ulysses, 2

    December 29, 2006