Pronunciation Noun

piece (plural pieces)

  1. A part of a larger whole, usually in such a form that it is able to be separated from other parts.
    I’d like another piece of pie.
    I’m a piece of humanity.
    • 1624, John Donne, “17. Meditation”, in Deuotions upon Emergent Occasions, and Seuerall Steps in My Sicknes: […], London: Printed by A[ugustine] M[atthews] for Thomas Iones, OCLC 55189476 ↗; republished as Geoffrey Keynes, John Sparrow, editor, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions: […], Cambridge: At the University Press, 1923, OCLC 459265555 ↗, lines 2–3, page 98 ↗:
      No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; {{...}
  2. A single item belonging to a class of similar items
    a piece of machinery
    a piece of software
    a useful piece of advice
  3. (chess) One of the figures used in playing chess, specifically a higher-value figure as distinguished from a pawn; by extension, a similar counter etc. in other games.
    • 1959, Hans Kmoch, Pawn Power in Chess, I:
      Pawns, unlike pieces, move only in one direction: forward.
  4. A coin, especially one valued at less than the principal unit of currency.
    a sixpenny piece
  5. An artistic creation, such as a painting, sculpture, musical composition, literary work, etc.
    Synonyms: Thesaurus:musical composition
    She played two beautiful pieces on the piano.
  6. An article published in the press.
    Today's paper has an interesting piece on medical research.
  7. (military) An artillery gun.
    • 1743, Robert Drury (sailor), The Pleasant, and Surprizing Adventures of Mr. Robert Drury, during his Fifteen Years Captivity on the Island of Madagascar, London, p. 55,
      […] all our Ammunition was spent. Those of us who had Money made Slugs of it; their next Shift was to take the middle Screws out of their Guns, and charge their Pieces with them.
  8. (US, colloquial) A gun.
    He's packin' a piece!
  9. (US, Canada, colloquial, short for hairpiece) A toupee or wig, especially when worn by a man.
    The announcer is wearing a new piece.
  10. (Scotland, Ireland, UK, US, dialectal) A slice or other quantity of bread, eaten on its own; a sandwich or light snack.
    • 2008, James Kelman, Kieron Smith, Boy, Penguin 2009, page 46:
      My grannie came and gived them all a piece and jam and cups of water then I was to bring them back out to the street and play a game.
  11. (US, colloquial, vulgar) A sexual encounter; from piece of ass or piece of tail
    I got a piece at lunchtime.
  12. (US, colloquial, mildly, vulgar, short for piece of crap/piece of shit) A shoddy or worthless object (usually applied to consumer products like vehicles or appliances).
    Ugh, my new computer is such a piece. I'm taking it back to the store tomorrow.
  13. (US, slang) A cannabis pipe.
  14. (baseball, uncountable) Used to describe a pitch that has been hit but not well, usually either being caught by the opposing team or going foul. Usually used in the past tense with got.
    he got a piece of that one;  she got a piece of the ball […] and it's going foul.
  15. (dated, sometimes, derogatory) An individual; a person.
    • If I had not been a piece of a logician before I came to him.
    • 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene iv]:
      Thy mother was a piece of virtue.
    • His own spirit is as unsettled a piece as there is in all the world.
  16. (obsolete) A castle; a fortified building.
  17. (US) A pacifier.
    Synonyms: Thesaurus:pacifier
  18. (colloquial) A distance.
    a far piece
    located a fair piece away from their camp
    a fair piece off
  19. (rowing) A structured practice row, often used for performance evaluation.
    At practice we rowed four 5,000 meter pieces.
    That last piece was torture.
  20. An amount of work to be done at one time; a unit of piece work.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • Portuguese: peça
  • Spanish: pieza de artillería

piece (pieces, present participle piecing; past and past participle pieced)

  1. (transitive, usually, with together) To assemble (something real or figurative).
    These clues allowed us to piece together the solution to the mystery.
    • His adversaries […] pieced themselves together in a joint opposition against him.
  2. To make, enlarge, or repair, by the addition of a piece or pieces; to patch; often with out.
    to piece a garment
  3. (slang) To produce a work of graffiti more complex than a tag.

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