piece

[ pees ]
/ pis /

noun

verb (used with object), pieced, piec·ing.

verb (used without object), pieced, piec·ing.

Chiefly North Midland U.S. to eat small portions of food between meals; snack.

Idioms for piece

Origin of piece

1175–1225; Middle English pece < Old French < Gaulish *pettia; akin to Breton pez piece, Welsh, Cornish peth thing

OTHER WORDS FROM piece

mul·ti·piece, adjectiveun·pieced, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH piece

peace piece

synonym study for piece

1. See part.

usage note for piece

The meanings “sexual intercourse” and “sexual partner” are both vulgar slang. When referring to a person, the term piece is usually used with disparaging intent and perceived as insulting.

historical usage of piece

English piece comes from Middle English pece, peece, piece, from Anglo-French peece, pees, peice and Old French pece, pice. Other Western Romance languages share variations of the same word: Provençal pessa, pesa, Spanish pieza, Catalan peça, Portuguese peça, Italian pezza. These Romance forms correspond to Medieval Latin pecia, petia “a bit, portion, coin” (compare two bits , a dated American slang term for "twenty-five cents"). The Medieval Latin form has no Latin origin but probably originates in a Gaulish noun pettiā, which explains why there is no cognate word in Romanian ( piece in Romanian is bucată ).
The American colloquialism wanna get a piece of me? (a challenge to a fight) dates back to 1953; piece in the derogatory sense “girl or woman (regarded as a sex object)” dates back to the 16th century; piece of ass to 1857; and (nasty) piece of work dates from the 18th century.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for go to pieces

piece
/ (piːs) /

noun

verb (tr)

See also piece out

Word Origin for piece

C13 pece, from Old French, of Gaulish origin; compare Breton pez piece, Welsh peth portion
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

Idioms and Phrases with go to pieces (1 of 2)

go to pieces

Experience an emotional or mental breakdown, as in When she heard of his death she went to pieces. [Late 1800s] For a synonym, see fall apart, def. 2.

Idioms and Phrases with go to pieces (2 of 2)

piece

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.