• WordNet 3.6
    • n pier a platform built out from the shore into the water and supported by piles; provides access to ships and boats
    • n pier a support for two adjacent bridge spans
    • n pier (architecture) a vertical supporting structure (as a portion of wall between two doors or windows)
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Rochester: from Strood Pier Rochester: from Strood Pier

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Cher's real name is Cherilyn Sarkasian La Pier.
    • Pier A projecting wharf or landing place.
    • Pier (Arch) Any additional or auxiliary mass of masonry used to stiffen a wall. See Buttress.
    • Pier (Arch) 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.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n pier 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.
    • n pier A projecting quay, wharf, or other landing-place.
    • n pier One of the supports of the spans of a bridge, or any structure of similar character.
    • n pier In architecture or building:
    • n pier The solid support from which an arch springs. See first cut under arch.
    • n pier In medieval architecture, a large pillar or shaft; specifically, a compound or a square pillar.
    • n pier One of the solid parts between openings in a wall, such as doors and windows.
    • n pier The wall or post, of square or other form, to which a gate or door is hung.
    • n pier 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.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Pier pēr the mass of stone-work between the openings in the wall of a building: an arch, bridge, &c.: a stone pillar on which the hinges of a gate are fixed: a mass of stone or wood-work projecting into the sea for landing purposes: a wharf
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. pere, OF. piere, a stone, F. pierre, fr. L. petra, Gr. . Cf. Petrify
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. pierre, a stone—L. petra—Gr. petra, a rock.


In literature:

Piers, recreation piers, 292, 296, 299.
"The Battle with the Slum" by Jacob A. Riis
It was the galvanic battery at the end of the pier.
"Somehow Good" by William de Morgan
They brought out opposite the pier.
"Ben, the Luggage Boy;" by Horatio Alger
Several boats nested here, their bows pointing toward the fender logs of the pier.
"The Weakling" by Everett B. Cole
The party reached the pier in the midst of a concert of praise and blessings.
"A Winter Amid the Ice" by Jules Verne
The Sky Wagon landed at Whiteside pier, and the trio went to the nearby garage where the Brants' car was kept.
"The Electronic Mind Reader" by John Blaine
Then the sedan rolled into the town itself, down the single business street which led to the fish piers.
"Smugglers' Reef" by John Blaine
See that little pole stickin' up out there beyond the pier?
"The Girl Scouts at Sea Crest" by Lillian Garis
A cart, unmistakably a cart, lumbered across the stones at the end of the pier.
"The Red Hand of Ulster" by George A. Birmingham
Others, in the same operations, torpedoed the piers and silenced the guns mounted thereon.
"Submarine Warfare of To-day" by Charles W. Domville-Fife
The Board of Works gave Mulrannoy a pier, but the whole bay boasted only a single boat.
"Ireland as It Is" by Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
A little before one o'clock we landed at the pier, where Mr. Loftie met us, and drove us to the Residency to lunch.
"The Last Voyage" by Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
Its long piers are the first landing-place of foreign vessels.
"England, Picturesque and Descriptive" by Joel Cook
I will leave word with the pier-master to tell him.
"Carmen Ariza" by Charles Francis Stocking
Rick luxuriated in the coolness of clean water, then stripped to his undershorts and threw his sodden clothes onto the pier.
"The Flying Stingaree" by Harold Leland Goodwin
The piers of a bridge still remain near Monastero.
"The Shores of the Adriatic" by F. Hamilton Jackson
Beauvais, piers of Cathedral at, i.
"The Stones of Venice, Volume III (of 3)" by John Ruskin
On the eastern range of transept piers.
"Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Wells" by Percy Dearmer
At five o'clock P. M. I arrived at the city pier opposite the warehouse of Messrs. C. P. Knight & Brother, No.
"Voyage of the Paper Canoe" by Nathaniel H. Bishop
North of the piers there was only one street, which ran along the water's edge.
"Anne" by Constance Fenimore Woolson

In poetry:

Pier Francesca,
Pisanello lacking the skill
To forge Achaia.
"MAUBERLEY" by Ezra Pound
Where swallows and wheatfields are,
O hamlet brown and still,
O river that shineth far,
By meadow, pier, and mill:
"Refuge" by Archibald Lampman
And like those waters rushing
Among the wooden piers,
A flood of thoughts came o'er me
That filled my eyes with tears.
"The Bridge" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The king he blew shill in a siller whustle;
An' tramp, tramp, doon the pier
Cam twenty men on twenty horses,
Clankin wi' spur an' spear.
"The Yerl O' Waterydeck" by George MacDonald
Down by the pier, when the sweet morn is blowing,
Slips from her moorings the fisher's light bark,
Sends up her ringing sails while she is going,
Spread on the skies like the wings of the Dark!
"A Day's Fishing" by Menella Bute Smedley
A vessel! To the old pier end
Her happy course she’s keeping;
I heard them name her yesterday: Some were pale with weeping;
Some with their heart-hunger sighed,
She’s in,—­and they are sleeping.
"Songs of the Night Watches (complete)" by Jean Ingelow

In news:

Four-alarm fire burning at Pier 29 in San Francisco.
Last Tuesday, as night settled into the soft blue of the East River, Luis Rivera stood at the end of a rough pier of cement just off 20th Street and hoisted a tall pole with two small American flags.
Fire at Pier 29 in San Francisco.
The stone piers stand like ghosts.
The "museum for the day" on the pier deck will feature antique surfboards, paddleboards , and lifeguard equipment.
Paddleboard racing was a popular Santa Monica sport in the 1940s with two paddleboard clubs headquartered on the pier.
30 am to 3 pm at the Santa Monica Pier.
What's Hot: Santa Monica Pier Paddleboard Race And Ocean Festival This Saturday.
This year's festival runs Oct 5-6 at Pier Park in Panama City Beach.
The early spring Brunswick County pier and surf action has been dominated by the good news of strong sea mullet runs.
The wind then slammed the women into the ocean and dragged them toward the town's fishing pier.
The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier also opened this year.
Piers Morgan refused to confirm details of a voice message left by Paul McCartney.
In this image made from video, CNN interviewer Piers Morgan answers questions Tuesday, Dec 20, 2011at an ethics inquiry in London.
Last year we tried a little experiment with our friends at the Tall Ship Windy here on Navy Pier.

In science:

The spectrograph is located within a thermal enclosure in the pier lab of the Gemini-S telescope and is fiber-fed from the telescope’s Cassegrain focus via a fiber cassette inserted into the Gemini Multi-Ob ject Spectrograph (GMOS-South).
Carbon Abundances of Three Carbon-Enhanced Metal-Poor Stars from High-Resolution Gemini-S/bHROS Spectra of the 8727A [C I] Line
The inside of the container will be split in two compartments, one for the instruments nearest to the telescope pier, and one at the other end for control computers and other electronics.
The Stellar Observations Network Group - the Prototype
Pier Mario Pollina for a detailed review of this work.
Passive damping of beam vibrations through distributed electric networks and piezoelectric transducers: prototype design and experimental validation
At the same time, radiation forces associated with illumination of the disk body can thicken it (Pier & Krolik 1992; Krolik 2007; Shi & Krolik 2008).
Three Dimensional MHD Simulation of Circumbinary Accretion Disks: Disk Structures and Angular Momentum Transport
In 1974 researchers led by Pier Giorgio Merli did the electron interference experiment at the University of Milan.
Quantum interference of molecules -- probing the wave nature of matter
Models indicate that tori are still optically thick in the MIR (Pier & Krolik, 1993; Granato et al., 1997).
A Mid-Infrared and Far-Infrared View of Galaxies
This simple model has also been used in numerous studies of individual ob jects (e.g., Zdziarski et al. 1994; Bassani et al. 1995; Weaver, Krolik & Pier 1998; Matt 1999; Perola et al. 1999), with the obtained e-folding energies being in fair agreement with those obtained for the average spectra.
Observations of Seyferts by OSSE and parameters of their X-ray/gamma-ray sources
These data demonstrate the presence of anomalous refraction on scales at least as large as the 2.3◦ field of view of the camera (Pier et al. 1999).
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey: Technical Summary
The SDSS photometric pipeline consists of four sequential steps: ssc and psp (pointspread function estimation), astrom (Pier et al. 2003, astrometry), and frames (ob ject identification, deblending, and photometry; Lupton et al. 2001; Stoughton et al. 2002; Lupton et al. 2003, and in preparation).
Sloan Digital Sky Survey Imaging of Low Galactic Latitude Fields: Technical Summary and Data Release
Astrometric calibrations are applied by the astrometric pipeline (astrom) and are accurate to better than 0.1′′ RMS in each coordinate (Pier et al. 2003).
Sloan Digital Sky Survey Imaging of Low Galactic Latitude Fields: Technical Summary and Data Release
The position is taken directly from the pipeline-processed data (for a discussion of SDSS astrometry, see Pier et al. 2003) and clearly show the proper motion of this faint ob ject (140 mas/year in RA, -155 mas/year in DEC).
Sloan Digital Sky Survey Imaging of Low Galactic Latitude Fields: Technical Summary and Data Release
Relative astrometry is generally better than 50 milli-arcseconds per coordinate while the absolute astrometry is generally better than 0.1 arcseconds per coordinate (Pier et al. 2003).
SDSS Pre-Burst Observations of Recent Gamma-Ray Burst Fields
The reason for this is, for example, that much amount of infrared emission of such galaxies comes from the dusty tori (Pier & Krolik 1993; Pier et al. 1994; see for the extreme case, Taniguchi et al. 1997).
Does the Radiative Avalanche Fueling Work in Any Active Galactic Nuclei ?
Adopting the fiducial values in Pier et al. (1994), we obtain the gas accretion rate, ˙Macc ≃ 0.17 M⊙ y−1 .
Does the Radiative Avalanche Fueling Work in Any Active Galactic Nuclei ?
Since, however, the dusty torus in NGC 1068 is considered to be extended at radius of 100 pc (Pier & Krolik 1993), this MIR component may not be star-forming regions.
Does the Radiative Avalanche Fueling Work in Any Active Galactic Nuclei ?