piecemeal

adverb
piece·​meal | \ ˈpēs-ˌmēl, -ˈmēl\

Definition of piecemeal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one piece at a time : gradually
2 : in pieces or fragments : apart

piecemeal

adjective

Definition of piecemeal (Entry 2 of 2)

: done, made, or accomplished piece by piece or in a fragmentary way piecemeal reforms in the system

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Synonyms & Antonyms for piecemeal

Synonyms: Adverb

gradationally, gradually, inchmeal, little by little, piece by piece

Synonyms: Adjective

gradational, gradual, incremental, phased, step-by-step

Antonyms: Adverb

abruptly, suddenly

Antonyms: Adjective

abrupt, sudden

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Examples of piecemeal in a Sentence

Adverb

remodeled their house piecemeal because of budgetary constraints one well-aimed blow ripped the piñata piecemeal

Adjective

They've done piecemeal repairs in the past, but the bridge now needs major reconstruction. Some people want the changes to be made all at once, but I think we should take a more piecemeal approach.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

In any case, Apple is expected to roll out updates piecemeal over iOS 12's lifetime rather than front loading them in one big update. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "WWDC 2018: What we expect Apple to announce on June 4," 1 June 2018 To avoid feeling overwhelmed by this task, tackle it piecemeal, a room, closet, shelf, drawer at a time. Jane E. Brody, charlotteobserver, "How to age well and stay in your home," 27 June 2018 To avoid feeling overwhelmed by this task, tackle it piecemeal, a room, closet, shelf, drawer at a time. Jane E. Brody, charlotteobserver, "How to age well and stay in your home," 27 June 2018 To avoid feeling overwhelmed by this task, tackle it piecemeal, a room, closet, shelf, drawer at a time. New York Times, "How to Age Well and Stay in Your Home," 21 May 2018 To avoid feeling overwhelmed by this task, tackle it piecemeal, a room, closet, shelf, drawer at a time. Jane E. Brody, charlotteobserver, "How to age well and stay in your home," 27 June 2018 The circumstances of his eventual departure are revealed piecemeal, as the narrative cycles between past and present, examining conflicts and betrayals from many perspectives. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "Briefly Noted," 24 June 2018 To avoid feeling overwhelmed by this task, tackle it piecemeal, a room, closet, shelf, drawer at a time. Jane E. Brody, charlotteobserver, "How to age well and stay in your home," 27 June 2018 Legislation is built piecemeal but voted on as a single unit. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "What are Dems to do about the SupCo?," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Tuesday’s meeting comes ahead of votes that Pelosi has planned on a piecemeal reopening of the government, beginning with the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service. Josh Dawsey, The Seattle Times, "Trump to make prime-time address, visit US-Mexico border amid shutdown stalemate," 7 Jan. 2019 After repeated failed attempts to auction Aamby Valley, the court ordered piecemeal sale of the project’s land. Anto Antony, Bloomberg.com, "Billionaire’s Folly Becomes Bankers’ Nightmare," 18 June 2018 Because there’s no one arc through the whole runtime, the work of tracking with the piecemeal tale can get mentally exhausting after a while. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is an old West folk tale, with a signature Coen brothers twist," 15 Oct. 2018 Her 15-month separation from her mother exposes the fragile legal standing of children under the care of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement and a flawed, piecemeal system that can change the course of a child’s life. Garance Burke And Martha Mendoza, The Seattle Times, "Deported parents may lose their kids to adoption," 9 Oct. 2018 The names were released in piecemeal fashion with critical details missing. Fox News, "San Diego diocese adds 8 priests to list of predators," 14 Sep. 2018 But there are advantages to this more piecemeal approach. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "It’s really complicated to connect the Home of the Future," 20 Aug. 2018 Microsoft still retains a piecemeal consumer offering, with movies, TV, and books living within the Microsoft app store. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's pledge to win back the consumer needs to be more than just words," 20 July 2018 Health care activists complained that their proposals were too conservative and piecemeal. Angela Hart, sacbee, "Doctors, nurses, insurance companies spending big to influence California's health care future," 6 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of piecemeal

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1593, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for piecemeal

The first known use of piecemeal was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for piecemeal

piecemeal

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of piecemeal

: done or made in a gradual way in a series of separate steps

piecemeal

adverb
piece·​meal | \ ˈpēs-ˌmēl \

Kids Definition of piecemeal

: one piece at a time : little by little The repairs were made piecemeal.

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Comments on piecemeal

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