View synonyms for piece


[ pees ]


  1. a separate or limited portion or quantity of something:

    a piece of land;

    a piece of chocolate.

    Synonyms: fragment, scrap, segment, section

    Antonyms: whole

  2. a quantity of some substance or material forming a single mass or body:

    a nice piece of lumber.

  3. a more or less definite portion or quantity of a whole:

    to cut a blueberry pie into six pieces.

  4. a particular length, as of certain goods prepared for the market:

    cloth sold by the piece.

  5. an amount of work forming a single job:

    to be paid by the piece and not by the hour.

  6. an example of workmanship, especially of artistic production, as a picture or a statue:

    The museum has some interesting pieces by Picasso.

  7. a literary or journalistic composition, usually short, in prose or verse.
  8. a literary selection for recitation:

    Each child had a chance to recite a piece.

  9. a musical composition.
  10. one of the parts that, when assembled, form a whole:

    the pieces of a clock.

  11. an individual article of a set or collection:

    a set of dishes containing 100 pieces.

  12. Games.
    1. one of the figures, disks, blocks, or the like, of wood, plastic, ivory, or other material, used in playing a board game.
    2. (in chess) a king, queen, bishop, knight, or rook; a superior man or figure, as distinguished from a pawn:

      One of the opening principles in chess is piece development.

  13. a token, charm, or amulet:

    a good-luck piece.

  14. an individual thing of a particular class or kind:

    a piece of furniture;

    a piece of drawing paper.

  15. an example, specimen, or instance of something:

    a fine piece of workmanship.

  16. one of the parts into which a thing is destructively divided or broken; a part, fragment, or shred:

    to tear a letter into pieces.

  17. Informal.
    1. a rifle, pistol, or other small firearm.
    2. a cannon or other unit of ordnance:

      Each field piece was drawn by six horses.

  18. a coin:

    a five-cent piece.

  19. Midland and Southern U.S. a distance:

    I'm going down the road a piece.

  20. Chiefly North Midland U.S. a snack.
  21. Also called piece of ass. Slang: Vulgar.
    1. Usually Disparaging and Offensive. a person, usually a woman, considered as a sexual partner.
    2. sexual intercourse:

      He's always looking for piece of ass.

verb (used with object)

, pieced, piec·ing.
  1. to mend (a garment, article, etc.) by adding, joining, or applying a piece or pieces; patch.
  2. to complete, enlarge, or extend by an added piece or something additional (often followed by out ):

    to piece out a library with new books.

  3. to make by or as if by joining pieces (often followed by together ):

    to piece a quilt;

    to piece together a musical program.

  4. to join together, as pieces or parts:

    to piece together the fragments of a broken dish.

  5. to join as a piece or addition to something:

    to piece new wire into the cable.

  6. to assemble into a meaningful whole by combining available facts, information, details, etc.:

    He pieced the story together after a lot of effort.

verb (used without object)

, pieced, piec·ing.
  1. Chiefly North Midland U.S. to eat small portions of food between meals; snack.


/ piːs /


  1. an amount or portion forming a separate mass or structure; bit

    a piece of wood

  2. a small part, item, or amount forming part of a whole, esp when broken off or separated

    a piece of bread

  3. a length by which a commodity is sold, esp cloth, wallpaper, etc
  4. an instance or occurrence

    a piece of luck

  5. slang.
    a girl or woman regarded as an object of sexual attraction

    a nice piece

  6. an example or specimen of a style or type, such as an article of furniture

    a beautiful piece of Dresden china

  7. informal.
    an opinion or point of view

    to state one's piece

  8. a literary, musical, or artistic composition
  9. a coin having a value as specified

    fifty-pence piece

  10. a small object, often individually shaped and designed, used in playing certain games, esp board games

    chess pieces

    1. a firearm or cannon
    2. ( in combination )


  11. any chessman other than a pawn
  12. a short time or distance

    down the road a piece

  13. dialect.
    1. a slice of bread or a sandwich
    2. a packed lunch taken to work, school, etc
  14. usually plural fragments of fleece wool See also oddment
  15. give someone a piece of one's mind informal.
    to criticize or censure someone frankly or vehemently
  16. go to pieces
    1. (of a person) to lose control of oneself; have a breakdown
    2. (of a building, organization, etc) to disintegrate
  17. nasty piece of work informal.
    a cruel or mean person
  18. of a piece
    of the same kind; alike
  19. piece of cake informal.
    something easily obtained or achieved


  1. often foll by together to fit or assemble piece by piece
  2. often foll by up to patch or make up (a garment) by adding pieces
  3. textiles to join (broken threads) during spinning

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Sensitive Note

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.

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Other Words From

  • mul·ti·piece adjective
  • un·pieced adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of piece1

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English pece, pes(e), pesse, from Old French, from unattested Gaulish pettia; akin to Breton pez “piece,” Welsh, Cornish peth “thing”

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Word History and Origins

Origin of piece1

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

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. go to pieces,
    1. to break into fragments.
    2. to lose control of oneself; become emotionally or physically upset:

      When he flunked out of medical school he went to pieces.

  2. of a piece, of the same kind; harmonious; consistent. Also of one piece.
  3. piece of work, an extraordinary person, especially one who has extremely negative qualities:

    She's a nasty piece of work!

  4. speak one's piece, to express one's opinion; reveal one's thoughts upon a subject:

    I decided to speak my piece whether they liked it or not.

  5. give someone a piece of one's mind. mind ( def 39 ).
  6. piece of the action. action ( def 23 ).

More idioms and phrases containing piece

  • 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

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Synonym Study

See part.

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Example Sentences

“It was ludicrous,” she said of the piece, which ran in June.

Likewise, I may update this piece as more information becomes available.

From Vox

You start with a theory of small pieces, say the atoms in a billiard ball.

What to remember when casting your ballotThe most important piece of advice you’ll need when voting, early or not, is to follow directions carefully.

So some of the people I spoke to while reporting this piece explained that there are some inconsistencies between the decree that brought in this database and the data sharing and the new data law, the LGPD.

The well, ghost or no ghost, is certainly a piece of history with a bold presence.

My doctor insisted that once I filed this piece I lie down on my bed and not get out.

Last March they gave Airbus a huge piece of new business, ordering 169 A320s and 65 of the slightly larger A321.

The attempt to “breed back” the Auroch of Teutonic legend was of a piece with the Nazi obsession with racial purity and eugenics.

However, an article designed to act as a tie-in to the piece has been published as planned in the BBC magazine Radio Times.

I assure you, no matter how beautifully we play any piece, the minute Liszt plays it, you would scarcely recognize it!

I was busy loading the piece when an exclamation of surprise from one of the men made me look up.

There were two battalions, together about a thousand men; and they brought a field-piece with them.

She got up and stood in front of the fire, having her hand on the chimney-piece and looking down at the blaze.

With a groan, wrung from the very depths of his heart, he tossed the man a gold-piece; another to the woman.


Related Words

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How Do You Spell Piece?

Spelling tips for piece

The word piece is hard to spell because it’s pronounced exactly the same as the word peace. It can be difficult to remember whether the i or e should come first.  

How to spell piece: The easiest way to remember how to spell piece is with the classic mnemonic device: “I before E, except after C, except when it’s pronounced like a long A, as in neighbor and weigh.” 

To remember whether you should use peace or piece, keep in mind that peace is for Everybody and Anybody (pEAce), while a piece is only for some.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




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