\ˈpēs \

Definition of piece 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a part of a whole: such as

a : fragment pieces of broken glass

b : any of the individual members comprising a unit often used in combination a five-piece banda three-piece suit

c : portion, allocation a piece of the jackpot

2 : an object or individual regarded as a unit of a kind or class a piece of fruit

3 : a usually unspecified distance down the road a piece

4 : a standard quantity (as of length, weight, or size) in which something is made or sold

5 : a literary, journalistic, artistic, dramatic, or musical composition

6 : firearm

7 : coin also : token

8 : a movable object used in playing a board game specifically : a chessman other than a pawn

9 : opinion, view spoke his piece

10a vulgar : an act of copulation

b vulgar : the female partner in sexual intercourse

11 : instance, example silly piece of nonsense a nice piece of acting

of a piece piece of one's mind

: a severe scolding : tongue-lashing

piece of the action

: a share in activity or profit

to pieces

1 : without reserve or restraint : completely

2 : into fragments also : into component parts

3 : out of control went to pieces from shock


pieced; piecing

Definition of piece (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to repair, renew, or complete by adding pieces : patch

2 : to join into a whole often used with together his new book … has been pieced together from talks— Merle Miller

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from piece


piecer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for piece


part, portion, piece, member, division, section, segment, fragment mean something less than the whole. part is a general term appropriate when indefiniteness is required. they ran only part of the way portion implies an assigned or allotted part. cut the pie into six portions piece applies to a separate or detached part of a whole. a puzzle with 500 pieces member suggests one of the functional units composing a body. a structural member division applies to a large or diversified part. the manufacturing division of the company section applies to a relatively small or uniform part. the entertainment section of the newspaper segment applies to a part separated or marked out by or as if by natural lines of cleavage. the retired segment of the population fragment applies to a part produced by or as if by breaking off. only a fragment of the play still exists

Examples of piece in a Sentence


Divide the pie into six equal pieces. The cheese was cut into small pieces and arranged on a silver platter. You have a piece of lettuce stuck between your teeth. Her broken bicycle lay in pieces by the side of the road. I watched her rip the letter to pieces and throw it away. There are 12 pieces in this stainless steel knife set. a jigsaw puzzle with 500 pieces We're missing one piece of the puzzle. I took apart the engine piece by piece and put it back together again.


you might want to piece together a quilt from those odd patches of cloth
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Mazzoli created a lush score that was alternately sweeping or intimate, sensuous or mystical, yet with a distinctive sound that was her own weaving a thread through the piece. Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Opera makes history with Missy Mazzoli's 'Song from the Uproar'," 19 July 2017 This is why the war stories of Tom Clancy are such convincing and moving pieces of fiction. Janine Barchas, Washington Post, "Jane Austen is a fraud," 18 July 2017 Saturday evening, the British Broadcasting Corporation posted a piece about the ancient cypress forest discovered sixty feet underwater in the Gulf of Mexico, attracting the international attention. Ben Raines, AL.com, "BBC explores Alabama's Underwater Forest, and Reddit hosts an Ask Me Anything," 17 July 2017 After cutting your lemon (or lime) in half, cut a small piece of skin off of the other side. Carly Breit, Country Living, "You've Been Using a Lemon Juicer All Wrong," 14 July 2017 The public offers a piece of its mind Mic's Celeste Katz discloses that Trump's controversial voter fraud panel won't let the public speak at its first meeting on July 19 but did solicit emails. The Hive, "Is the Media Overhyping the Trump-Russia Scandal?," 14 July 2017 Alan Jacobs, a professor at Baylor University, has written eloquently about that last piece. Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic, "The Problem With Helicopter Colleges," 14 July 2017 For those not in the know, Polar Pizza involves a double fudge brownie crust and mint chocolate chip ice cream topped with Oreo cookie pieces. Cole Kazdin, Los Angeles Magazine, "5 Places to Celebrate National Ice Cream Day, Which is a Very Important Day," 14 July 2017 His beautiful portrait of Ken Moody, one of an edition of ten, was on sale for £25,000 ($31,650), about five times the price of one of Ms Yass’s pieces. The Economist, "Picture perfectThe photography market is about not just names," 13 July 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Its emblem here is pieced together with scrappy dignity, stuff of the earth repurposed as the roof of heaven. Leah Ollman, latimes.com, "In Shinique Smith's 'Refuge,' bits of past make for a compelling present," 3 July 2018 Sometimes the longest, most complicated-seeming words can be easily pieced together by kids who've memorized roots and understand how words fit together in different languages. Ben Nuckols, Fox News, "Memorable words from the National Spelling Bee," 1 June 2018 Neilan and Schumacher have pieced together strong seasons on the rubber as part of a staff that returned every pitcher from a year ago. J.c. Carnahan, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Timber Creek senior pitchers lead return to FHSAA baseball state tourney," 31 May 2018 Sometimes the longest, most complicated-seeming words can be easily pieced together by kids who’ve memorized roots and understand how words fit together in different languages. Washington Post, "Memorable words from the National Spelling Bee," 31 May 2018 In Arizona, local officials and volunteers have ambitiously pieced together their own count of border-crossing deaths, which includes scores of deaths each year not included in the Border Patrol's tally. Bob Ortega, CNN, "Border Patrol failed to count hundreds of migrant deaths on US soil," 14 May 2018 Instead, Jozi says that after decades of isolation from the U.S., Iranians have pieced together workarounds, such as building internet applications platforms to replace Apple’s App Store. Fortune, "Iranian Business Leaders React to Trump's Withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal," 9 May 2018 After leading for much of the night, Charlotte (29-39) pieced together a 10-2 run early in the fourth quarter to take a 104-98 lead. William Guillory, NOLA.com, "Jrue Holiday, Pelicans regain offensive groove in win over Hornets," 13 Mar. 2018 Taken from tenement houses, or row houses, the remnants are from archaeological digs spanning 11 years as researchers and historians piece them together to create a picture of the lives of these workers. Caroline Blackmon, Detroit Free Press, "Digging for mid-1800s trash uncovers lives of Corktown residents," 1 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'piece.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of piece


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for piece


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *pettia, of Gaulish origin; akin to Welsh peth thing

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about piece

Statistics for piece

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for piece

The first known use of piece was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for piece



English Language Learners Definition of piece

: an amount that is cut or separated from a larger section of something

: an amount of something considered separately from the rest

: a small often broken part of something


\ˈpēs \

Kids Definition of piece

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a part cut, torn, or broken from something a piece of pie

2 : one of a group, set, or mass of things a piece of mail a three-piece suit

3 : a portion marked off a piece of land

4 : a single item or example a piece of news

5 : a definite amount or size in which something is made or sold a piece of paper

6 : something made or written a piece of music

7 : a movable object used in playing a board game a chess piece

8 : coin entry 1 sense 1 a fifty-cent piece

in one piece

: not broken, hurt, or damaged


pieced; piecing

Kids Definition of piece (Entry 2 of 2)

: to join into a whole : connect the parts or pieces of I pieced a puzzle together.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on piece

What made you want to look up piece? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!