- one of the figures, disks, blocks, or the like, of wood, ivory, or other material, used in playing, as on a board or table.
- (in chess) a superior man, as distinguished from a pawn: to take a rook, a bishop, and other pieces.
- a soldier's rifle, pistol, etc.
- a cannon or other unit of ordnance: field piece.
- Usually Disparaging and Offensive. a person, usually a woman, considered as a sexual partner: He finally got himself a piece of ass.
- sexual intercourse: He's always looking for piece of ass.
verb (used with object), pieced, piec·ing.
verb (used without object), pieced, piec·ing.
- to break into fragments.
- to lose control of oneself; become emotionally or physically upset: When he flunked out of medical school he went to pieces.
Origin of piece
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.
Examples from the Web for piece
The well, ghost or no ghost, is certainly a piece of history with a bold presence.New York’s Most Tragic Ghost Loves Minimalist Swedish Fashion|Nina Strochlic|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
My doctor insisted that once I filed this piece I lie down on my bed and not get out.I Tried to Warn You About Sleazy Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2003|Vicky Ward|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
However, an article designed to act as a tie-in to the piece has been published as planned in the BBC magazine Radio Times.Pulled Documentary Says William Felt ‘Used’ by Charles’ Push for Camilla|Tom Sykes|December 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
I did a piece for Elle about the effort to remake her into an elegant presence fashion-wise.
I think a certain kind of compelling essay has a piece of that.
A piece of old carpet was my saddle, and served me likewise for a seat, a table, and various other purposes.Travels in Arabia|Bayard Taylor
A player who gives the odds of a piece, may give it each game from the king's or queen's side, at his option.Mrs. Hale's Receipts for the Million|Sarah Josepha Hale
The most perfect arrangement can be obtained by getting a watchmaker to drill a fine hole through a piece of sheet metal.Photographic Amusements, Ninth Edition|Walter E. Woodbury and Frank R. Fraprie
Of course they had no boat, and the only way they could get back to the ship was to float on one piece of ice to another.Grenfell: Knight-Errant of the North|Fullerton Waldo
The gunner was yearning for this, and the bellow of his piece responded to the captain's words.Mary Anerley|R. D. Blackmore
British Dictionary definitions for piece
- a firearm or cannon
- (in combination)fowling-piece
- a slice of bread or a sandwich
- a packed lunch taken to work, school, etc
- (of a person) to lose control of oneself; have a breakdown
- (of a building, organization, etc) to disintegrate
Word Origin for piece
Word Origin and History for piece (1 of 2)
c.1200, "fixed amount, measure, portion," from Old French piece "piece, bit portion; item; coin" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *pettia, probably from Gaulish *pettsi (cf. Welsh peth "thing," Breton pez "piece, a little"), perhaps from an Old Celtic base *kwezd-i-, from PIE root *kwezd- "a part, piece" (cf. Russian chast' "part"). Related: Pieces.
Sense of "portable firearm" first recorded 1580s; that of "chessman" is from 1560s. Meaning "person regarded as a sex object" is first recorded 1785 (cf. piece of ass, human beings colloquially called piece of flesh from 1590s; cf. also Latin scortum "bimbo, anyone available for a price," literally "skin"). Meaning "a portion of a distance" is from 1610s; that of "literary composition" dates from 1530s. Piece of (one's) mind is from 1570s. Piece of work "remarkable person" echoes Hamlet. Piece as "a coin" is attested in English from 1570s, hence Piece of eight, old name for the Spanish dollar (c.1600) of the value of 8 reals.
PIECE. A wench. A damned good or bad piece; a girl who is more or less active and skilful in the amorous congress. Hence the (Cambridge) toast, may we never have a PIECE (peace) that will injure the constitution. ["Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit and Pickpocket Eloquence," London, 1811]
Word Origin and History for piece (1 of 2)
"to mend by adding pieces," late 14c., from piece (n.). Sense of "to join, unite, put together" is from late 15c. Related: Pieced; piecing.
Idioms and Phrases with piece
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
- 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