- something suitable for keeping and exhibiting in a museum.
- something very old-fashioned or decrepit: That car he drives is a museum piece.
Origin of museum piece
- an object of sufficient age or interest to be kept in a museum
- informal a person or thing regarded as antiquated or decrepit
An elderly or old-fashioned item or person, as in When are you going to sell that museum piece of a car? or Aunt Jane comes from another era—she's a real museum piece. This expression originated about 1900 for an article valuable enough for museum display but began to be used disparagingly from about 1915.