pie in sky

Dictionary.com Unabridged

pie

1 [pahy]
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.
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,
a.
the illusory prospect of future benefits: Political promises are often pie in the sky.
b.
a state of perfect happiness; utopia: to promise pie in the sky.

Origin:
1275–1325; Middle English, of obscure origin

pielike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
pie1 (paɪ)
 
n
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
 a.  to have an interest in or take part in some activity
 b.  to meddle or interfere
3.  pie in the sky illusory hope or promise of some future good; false optimism
 
[C14: of obscure origin]

pie2 (paɪ)
 
n
an archaic or dialect name for magpie
 
[C13: via Old French from Latin pīca magpie; related to Latin pīcus woodpecker]

pie3 (paɪ)
 
n, —vb
printing a variant spelling of pi

pie4 (paɪ)
 
n
a very small former Indian coin worth one third of a pice
 
[C19: from Hindi pā'ī, from Sanskrit pādikā a fourth]

pie or pye5 (paɪ)
 
n
history a book for finding the Church service for any particular day
 
[C15: from Medieval Latin pica almanac; see pica1]
 
pye or pye5
 
n
 
[C15: from Medieval Latin pica almanac; see pica1]

pie6 (paɪ)
 
adj
informal (NZ) be pie on to be keen on
 
[from Māori pai ana]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

pie
"pastry," c.1300, from M.L. pie "meat or fish enclosed in pastry," perhaps related to M.L. pia "pie, pastry," also possibly connected with pica "magpie" (see pie (2)) on notion of the bird's habit of collecting miscellaneous objects. Not known outside Eng., except Gaelic pighe,
which is from Eng. In the Middle Ages, a pie had many ingredients, a pastry but one. Fruit pies began to appear c.1600. Fig. 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
"magpie," mid-13c., from O.Fr. pie (13c.), from L. pica "magpie," related to picus "woodpecker," Umbrian peica "the magpie," Skt. pikah "Indian cuckoo," O.N. spætr, Ger. Specht "woodpecker" (see magpie).

pie
printers' slang for "a mass of type jumbled together" (also pi, pye), 1659, perhaps from pie (1) on notion of a "medley," or pie (2) (see pica).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
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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