a separate or limited portion or quantity of something: a piece of land; a piece of chocolate.
a quantity of some substance or material forming a single mass or body: a nice piece of lumber.
a more or less definite portion or quantity of a whole: to cut a blueberry pie into six pieces.
a particular length, as of certain goods prepared for the market: cloth sold by the piece.
an amount of work forming a single job: to be paid by the piece and not by the hour.
an example of workmanship, especially of artistic production, as a picture or a statue: The museum has some interesting pieces by Picasso.
a literary or journalistic composition, usually short, in prose or verse.
a literary selection for recitation: Each child had a chance to recite a piece.
a musical composition.
one of the parts that, when assembled, form a whole: the pieces of a clock.
an individual article of a set or collection: a set of dishes containing 100 pieces.
Chess, Checkers.
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 token, charm, or amulet: a good-luck piece.
an individual thing of a particular class or kind: a piece of furniture; a piece of drawing paper.
an example, specimen, or instance of something: a fine piece of workmanship.
one of the parts into which a thing is destructively divided or broken; a part, fragment, or shred: to tear a letter into pieces.
a soldier's rifle, pistol, etc.
a cannon or other unit of ordnance: field piece.
a coin: a five-cent piece.
Midland and Southern U.S. a distance: I'm going down the road a piece.
Chiefly North Midland U.S. a snack.
Also called piece of ass. Slang: Vulgar.
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, piecing.
to mend (a garment, article, etc.) by adding, joining, or applying a piece or pieces; patch.
to complete, enlarge, or extend by an added piece or something additional (often followed by out ): to piece out a library with new books.
to make by or as if by joining pieces (often followed by together ): to piece a quilt; to piece together a musical program.
to join together, as pieces or parts: to piece together the fragments of a broken dish.
to join as a piece or addition to something: to piece new wire into the cable.
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, piecing.
Chiefly North Midland U.S. to eat small portions of food between meals; snack.
give someone a piece of one's mind. mind ( def 38 ).
go to pieces,
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.
of a piece, of the same kind; harmonious; consistent. Also, of one piece.
piece of the action. action ( def 23 ).
piece of work, an extraordinary person, especially one who has extremely negative qualities: She's a nasty piece of work!
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.

1175–1225; Middle English pece < Old French < Gaulish *pettia; akin to Breton pez piece, Welsh, Cornish peth thing

multipiece, adjective
unpieced, adjective

peace, piece.

1. section, segment, scrap, fragment. See part. 23. augment.

1. whole.

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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
piece (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
11.  a.  a firearm or cannon
 b.  (in combination): fowling-piece
12.  any chessman other than a pawn
13.  (US), (Canadian) a short time or distance: down the road a piece
14.  dialect (Scot), (English)
 a.  a slice of bread or a sandwich
 b.  a packed lunch taken to work, school, etc
15.  (Austral), (NZ) (usually plural) See also oddment fragments of fleece wool
16.  informal give someone a piece of one's mind to criticize or censure someone frankly or vehemently
17.  go to pieces
 a.  (of a person) to lose control of oneself; have a breakdown
 b.  (of a building, organization, etc) to disintegrate
18.  informal (Brit) nasty piece of work a cruel or mean person
19.  of a piece of the same kind; alike
20.  informal piece of cake something easily obtained or achieved
21.  (often foll by together) to fit or assemble piece by piece
22.  (often foll by up) to patch or make up (a garment) by adding pieces
23.  textiles to join (broken threads) during spinning
[C13 pece, from Old French, of Gaulish origin; compare Breton pez piece, Welsh peth portion]

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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Word Origin & History

early 13c., "fixed amount, measure, portion," from O.Fr. piece (11c.), from V.L. *pettia, probably from Gaulish (cf. Welsh peth "thing," Breton pez "piece"), from O.Celt. base *pett-. Sense of "portable firearm" first recorded 1580s; that of "chessman" is from 1562. 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 L. scortum "bimbo, anyone available for a price," lit. "skin," dim. scortillum "bimbette"). Meaning "a portion of a distance" is from 1612; that of "literary composition" dates from 1530s. The verb meaning "to mend by adding pieces" is recorded from late 14c.; sense of "to join, unite, put together" is from late 15c. Piece of my mind is from 1570s. The Mod.Fr. form is reborrowed into English in pièce de résistance (1839), originally "the most substantial dish in a meal." Piece-work dates from 1540s. Piece of work "remarkable person" echoes Hamlet. Piece of Eight is the old name for the Spanish dollar (c.1600) of the value of 8 reals.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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