Perforate, puncture, punch, prick, bore, drill mean to pierce through so as to leave a hole.
Perforate, although it can mean to pierce, is used mainly with reference to the action of a machine or instrument which makes usually small round holes in a line or pattern (as for ready tearing, for ornamentation, or for marking with a symbol, device, or name).
Puncture suggests the intentional or accidental entrance of a sharp pointed instrument or thing into a tissue, substance, or material.
Since puncture is often associated with the sudden release of air from an inflated object (as a balloon or a pneumatic tire) the word frequently connotes the sudden deflation of something inflated, unduly pretentious, or pompous.
Punch is often interchangeable with perforate especially when the use of a mechanical device called a punch is implied.
Prick implies a piercing with something that has a sharp fine point and therefore suggests a very small hole or a superficial wound.
In extended use prick usually stresses either the sharp sting that accompanies the pricking of the skin or the delicacy and clearness of a pattern or design. Both bore and drill imply the use of a mechanical means in making a hole.
But bore stresses the removal of materials and therefore is employed when there is a suggestion of excavation by hand or machinery or of the use of a rotary tool (as an auger or gimlet) or of the use of a boring tool designed for the finishing of roughly made holes by enlarging them and by making them exact in size and true with relation to a specified center line.
Drill commonly implies the use of an instrument or machine equipped with a pointed or sharp rotating tool for boring holes in such hard substances as metal and stone.
In their extended senses bore and drill (see also PRACTICE ) carry differing connotations, bore suggesting the slow or continuous forcing of a passage through and drill, the forced entrance of something through a succession of efforts or through persistence.