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  1. work done and paid for by the piece.
Compare timework.

Origin of piecework

First recorded in 1540–50; piece + work
Related formspiece·work·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for piecework

Historical Examples

  • We were all, even I after the third day, on piecework at our table, except Nancy.

    Working With the Working Woman

    Cornelia Stratton Parker

  • It was piecework, and the more skilful he was, the bigger wages he earned.

  • This job was piecework, so it didn't matter whether they talked or not.

  • The growth of piecework and of sliding scales has effected something.

    Problems of Poverty

    John A. Hobson

  • In the shell-loading plants and piecework occupations, however, their wages were much higher.

British Dictionary definitions for piecework


  1. work paid for according to the quantity producedCompare timework
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for piecework


also piece-work, 1540s, from piece (n.) + work (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper