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piecemeal

[pees-meel] /ˈpisˌmil/
adverb
1.
piece by piece; one piece at a time; gradually:
to work piecemeal.
2.
into pieces or fragments:
to tear a letter piecemeal.
adjective
3.
done piecemeal.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English pecemele; replacing Old English styccemǣlum. See piece, -meal
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for piecemeal
  • In practice, though, perhaps all that can be done is to tackle the problems piecemeal.
  • Currently our system of ocean governance is piecemeal.
  • Yet the overall impression was one of dingy neglect and piecemeal repair.
  • What stands out about the awards is their piecemeal nature.
  • piecemeal prisoner releases should not be mistaken for necessary structural changes.
  • But farmers say that the reforms have been too piecemeal to be effective.
  • Although forceful, the effort has also been piecemeal and inefficient.
  • We have to make it safer and more dependable, not abandon it piecemeal.
  • But the piecemeal efforts to revive ancient trades in frankincense, henna and hides do not begin to make up for livestock.
  • We need a radical shift away from the piecemeal regulation of small areas that has resulted.
British Dictionary definitions for piecemeal

piecemeal

/ˈpiːsˌmiːl/
adverb
1.
by degrees; bit by bit; gradually
2.
in or into pieces or piece from piece to tear something piecemeal
adjective
3.
fragmentary or unsystematic a piecemeal approach
Word Origin
C13 pecemele, from piece + -mele, from Old English mælum quantity taken at one time
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 piecemeal
piecemeal
c.1300, from piece + O.E. mælum "at a time," dative plural of mæl "appointed time, food served" (see meal (1)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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