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

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 Lore has it that it was built in Scotland nearly a century ago, dismantled and delivered piecemeal to what was then a northern Baltimore County outpost. Elizabeth Heubeck, baltimoresun.com, "Freemasons' Bonnie Blink sits on a hill in Cockeysville, caters to elderly residents," 20 June 2018 But Trump’s joint statement falls short even when compared with smaller, piecemeal agreements made before the 1994 accord. John Hudson, Washington Post, "Compared with Trump, previous presidents extracted more concessions from N. Korea, experts say," 12 June 2018 But Trump's joint statement falls short even when compared with smaller, piecemeal agreements made before the 1994 accord. John Hudson, chicagotribune.com, "'The most watered-down joint statement ... ever': Past presidents extracted more concessions from North Korea, experts say," 12 June 2018 There are many ways to be arrested on marijuana charges, but one pattern has remained true through years of piecemeal policy changes in New York: The primary targets are black and Hispanic people. New York Times, "Surest Way to Face Marijuana Charges in New York: Be Black or Hispanic," 13 May 2018 But sewer systems are expensive, and regulations are up to municipalities, creating a piecemeal effort to clean up waste along watersheds. Lara Korte, WSJ, "Developers Go With the Flow as New Water Rules Kick In," 10 July 2018 Air Arguably the biggest disruptor in the budget travel game, Wow Air's piecemeal system is a lot like Norwegian's. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "International Basic Economy: How Every Major Airline Compares," 5 July 2018 And efforts by previous Republican administrations to diminish union power have been piecemeal. Lisa Rein, Anchorage Daily News, "New curbs on federal unions begin to take effect," 9 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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