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pie in the sky

noun
1.
pie1 (def 8).
Origin
1910-1915
1910-15, Americanism

pie1

[pahy] /paɪ/
noun
1.
a baked food having a filling of fruit, meat, pudding, etc., prepared in a pastry-lined pan or dish and often topped with a pastry crust:
apple pie; meat pie.
2.
a layer cake with a filling of custard, cream jelly, or the like:
chocolate cream pie.
3.
a total or whole that can be divided:
They want a bigger part of the profit pie.
4.
an activity or affair:
He has his finger in the political pie too.
5.
Idioms
6.
easy as pie, extremely easy or simple.
7.
nice as pie, extremely well-behaved, agreeable, or the like:
The children were nice as pie.
8.
pie in the sky,
  1. the illusory prospect of future benefits:
    Political promises are often pie in the sky.
  2. a state of perfect happiness; utopia:
    to promise pie in the sky.
Origin
1275-1325; Middle English, of obscure origin
Related forms
pielike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for pie in sky

pie1

/paɪ/
noun
1.
a baked food consisting of a sweet or savoury filling in a pastry-lined dish, often covered with a pastry crust
2.
have a finger in the pie
  1. to have an interest in or take part in some activity
  2. to meddle or interfere
3.
pie in the sky, illusory hope or promise of some future good; false optimism
Word Origin
C14: of obscure origin

pie2

/paɪ/
noun
1.
an archaic or dialect name for magpie
Word Origin
C13: via Old French from Latin pīca magpie; related to Latin pīcus woodpecker

pie3

/paɪ/
noun, verb
1.
(printing) a variant spelling of pi2

pie4

/paɪ/
noun
1.
a very small former Indian coin worth one third of a pice
Word Origin
C19: from Hindi pā'ī, from Sanskrit pādikā a fourth

pie5

/paɪ/
noun
1.
(history) a book for finding the Church service for any particular day
Word Origin
C15: from Medieval Latin pica almanac; see pica1

pie6

/paɪ/
adjective
1.
(NZ, informal) be pie on, to be keen on
Word Origin
from Māori pai ana
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
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Word Origin and History for pie in sky

pie

n.

"pastry," mid-14c. (probably older; piehus "bakery" is attested from late 12c.), from Medieval Latin pie "meat or fish enclosed in pastry" (c.1300), perhaps related to Medieval Latin pia "pie, pastry," also possibly connected with pica "magpie" (see pie (n.2)) on notion of the bird's habit of collecting miscellaneous objects. Figurative of "something to be shared out" by 1967.

According to OED, not known outside English, except Gaelic pighe, which is from English. In the Middle Ages, a pie had many ingredients, a pastry but one. Fruit pies began to appear c.1600. Figurative sense of "something easy" is from 1889. Pie-eyed "drunk" is from 1904. Phrase pie in the sky is 1911, from Joe Hill's Wobbly parody of hymns. Pieman is not attested earlier than the nursery rhyme "Simple Simon" (c.1820). Pie chart is from 1922.

"magpie," mid-13c. (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French pie (13c.), from Latin pica "magpie" (see magpie). In 16c., a wily pie was a "cunning person."

also pi, printers' slang for "a mass of type jumbled together" (also pi, pye), 1650s, perhaps from pie (n.1) on notion of a "medley," or pie (n.2); cf. pica (n.1). As a verb from 1870. Related: Pied.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pie in sky in Culture

pie in the sky definition


A preposterously optimistic goal: “The candidate says we can balance the budget by next year, but I think that's pie in the sky.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for pie in sky

pie

noun

An easy task or job; gravy: That's pie for him (1889+)

Related Terms

apple-pie order, cutesy-poo, cutie-pie, easy as pie, fur pie, hair pie, sweetie-pie


pie in the sky

modifier

: It was a bit of a pie-in-the-sky idea

noun phrase

The reward one will get for compliant behavior, later; hence wishful thinking or utopian fantasies

[1911+; fr a Wobbly expression of contempt for those who maintained that suffering and penury on earth would be compensated by bliss and luxury in heaven; the locus classicus is a 1911 parody of the hymn ''In the Sweet By and By,'' by the Wobbly martyr Joe Hill]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for pie in sky

PIE

Proto-Indo-European
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with pie in sky

pie

In addition to the idiom beginning with
pie

pie in the sky

An empty wish or promise, as in His dream of being hired as a sports editor proved to be pie in the sky. This expression was first recorded in 1911 in a rallying song of a union, the International Workers of the World (or “Wobblies”): “Work and pray, live on hay, you'll get pie in the sky when you die.”
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for pie in sky

pie

dish made by lining a shallow container with pastry and filling the container with a sweet or savoury mixture. A top crust may be added; the pie is baked until the crust is crisp and the filling is cooked through. Pies have been popular in the United States since colonial times, so much so that apple pie has become symbolic of traditional American home cooking. The typical American pie is round, 8-10 inches (20-25 cm) in diameter, 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) thick, and usually contains a sweet filling of fruit, custard, or a pastry cream. Some American specialties are pecan pie, pumpkin custard pie (traditionally served on Thanksgiving Day), lemon pie with a soft meringue topping, and shoofly pie, a Pennsylvania Dutch (see Pennsylvania German) pie with a rich filling containing molasses.

Learn more about pie with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Difficulty index for pie in the sky

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for pie

5
6
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