[ pees ]
/ pis /


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


mul·ti·piece, adjectiveun·pieced, adjective


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. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for of a piece

/ (piːs) /


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 of a piece (1 of 2)

of a piece

Also, all of a piece. Of the same kind, as in This legislation is of a piece with the previous bill, or Her rude behavior was all of a piece. The piece in this idiom alludes to a single mass of material. [Early 1600s]

Idioms and Phrases with of a piece (2 of 2)


In addition to the idioms beginning with piece

  • piece by piece
  • piece of ass
  • piece of cake
  • piece of change
  • piece of one's mind
  • piece of the action
  • piece together

also see:

  • all in one piece
  • conversation piece
  • go to pieces
  • museum piece
  • of a piece
  • pick apart (to pieces)
  • pick up the pieces
  • puff piece
  • say one's piece
  • think piece
  • thrill to pieces
  • to pieces
  • villain of the piece
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.