1. A thing considered as a unit or an element of a larger thing, quantity, or class; a portion: a piece of string.
2. A portion or part that has been separated from a whole: a piece of pie.
3. An object that is one member of a group or class: a piece of furniture.
4. An artistic, musical, or literary work or composition: “They are lively and well-plotted pieces, both in prose” (Tucker Brooke).
5. An instance; a specimen: a piece of sheer folly.
6. What one has to say about something; an opinion: speak one’s piece.
7. A coin: a ten-cent piece.
a. One of the counters or figures used in playing various board games.
b. Any one of the chess figures other than a pawn.
9. Slang A firearm, especially a rifle.
10. Informal A given distance: “There was farm country down the road on the right a piece” (James Agee).
1. To mend by adding pieces or a piece to: piece a dress.
2. To join or unite the pieces of: He pieced together the vase. She pieced together an account of what had gone on during the stormy meeting.
Frank and severe criticism; censure.
Belonging to the same class or kind.
In stages: took the clock apart piece by piece.
A person, especially a woman, considered sexually attractive.
Informal Something very easy to do.
A share of an activity or of profits: “a piece of the action in a Florida land deal” (Shana Alexander).
A remarkable person, achievement, or product: “He’s a very tough piece of work” (Ted Koppel).
[Middle English pece, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *pettia, probably of Celtic origin.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. an amount or portion forming a separate mass or structure; bit: a piece of wood.
2. a small part, item, or amount forming part of a whole, esp when broken off or separated: a piece of bread.
3. (Commerce) a length by which a commodity is sold, esp cloth, wallpaper, etc
4. an instance or occurrence: a piece of luck.
5. slang a girl or woman regarded as an object of sexual attraction: a nice piece.
6. an example or specimen of a style or type, such as an article of furniture: a beautiful piece of Dresden china.
7. informal an opinion or point of view: to state one’s piece.
8. (Art Terms) a literary, musical, or artistic composition
9. (Currencies) a coin having a value as specified: fifty-pence piece.
10. (Games, other than specified) a small object, often individually shaped and designed, used in playing certain games, esp board games: chess pieces.
a. a firearm or cannon
b. (in combination): fowling-piece.
12. (Chess & Draughts) any chessman other than a pawn
13. US and Canadian a short time or distance: down the road a piece.
a. a slice of bread or a sandwich
b. a packed lunch taken to work, school, etc
16. give someone a piece of one’s mind informal to criticize or censure someone frankly or vehemently
a. (of a person) to lose control of oneself; have a breakdown
b. (of a building, organization, etc) to disintegrate
18. nasty piece of work informal Brit a cruel or mean person
19. of a piece of the same kind; alike
20. piece of cake informal something easily obtained or achieved
21. (often foll by together) to fit or assemble piece by piece
22. (Knitting & Sewing) (often foll by up) to patch or make up (a garment) by adding pieces
23. (Textiles) textiles to join (broken threads) during spinning
[C13 pece, from Old French, of Gaulish origin; compare Breton pez piece, Welsh peth portion]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
n., v. pieced, piec•ing. n.
1. a limited portion or quantity of something: a piece of land.
2. a quantity of some substance or material forming a single mass or body: a piece of lumber.
3. a portion or quantity of a whole: a piece of pie.
4. a particular length, as of certain goods prepared for the market: cloth sold by the piece.
5. an amount of work forming a single job: to be paid by the piece.
6. an example of artistic creativity or workmanship, as a painting or a musical or literary composition.
a. one of the figures, disks, or the like, used in playing a board game.
b. (in chess) a superior man, as distinguished from a pawn.
8. an individual thing of a particular class or set: a piece of furniture.
9. an example, specimen, or instance of something: a fine piece of work.
10. a part, fragment, or shred: to tear a letter into pieces.
11. one’s opinion or thoughts on a subject.
a. a soldier’s rifle, pistol, etc.
b. a cannon or other unit of ordnance: field piece.
13. a coin: a five-cent piece.
14. Midland and Southern U.S. a distance: down the road a piece.
b. Usually Offensive. a person considered as a partner in coitus.
16. to mend by adding a piece or pieces; patch.
17. to complete or extend by an added piece or something additional (often fol. by out): to piece out a library with new books.
18. to make by or as if by joining pieces (often fol. by together): to piece together a musical program.
19. to join together, as pieces or parts.
20. to join as a piece or addition to something: to piece new wire into the cable.
21. to assemble into a meaningful whole by combining available facts, information, etc.
a. to break into fragments.
b. to lose control of oneself; become emotionally or physically upset.
2. of a piece, of the same kind; harmonious; consistent. Also, of one piece.
3. piece of cake, Informal. something easily done.
4. piece of one’s mind, a sharp rebuke or scolding.
5. piece of the action, Informal. a share of the profits.
[1175–1225; Middle English pece < Old French < Gaulish *pettia; akin to Breton pez piece, Welsh, Cornish peth thing]
usage: Definitions 21a and 21b are vulgar slang. Definition 21b is usually perceived as insulting.
Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.