piece·​meal | \ ˈpēs-ˌmēl How to pronounce piecemeal (audio) , -ˈmēl \

Definition of piecemeal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



Definition of piecemeal (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for piecemeal

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adjective

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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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Much of the information has been publicly disclosed piecemeal, but not in a condensed format. Rachel Cohrs, STAT, 9 May 2022 Around April 15 there's going to be a huge burst of those stories, even though most of us pay our taxes piecemeal all through the year. Robert Goulder, Forbes, 13 Apr. 2022 Along with it, piecemeal floodplain and wetland restoration could create habitat and recreational greenspace in one of the country’s most polluted regions. Susie Cagle, Wired, 12 Apr. 2022 Much of the work has been rolled out piecemeal over the years, with offices consolidated and financial changes issued. Arkansas Online, 20 Mar. 2022 Much of the reform work has been rolled out piecemeal over the years, with offices consolidated and financial reforms issued. Nicole Winfield, ajc, 19 Mar. 2022 The Violent Sleep of Reason, this time Haake, Hagström, and Lövgren tracked piecemeal at Sweetspot Studios in Halmstad, while Kidman captured his parts at home. Hank Shteamer, Rolling Stone, 15 Mar. 2022 Paula also enacted a more cohesive Latin American touring strategy, setting up a year of global dates in advance instead of piecemeal in response to demand. Leila Cobo, Billboard, 11 Mar. 2022 Absent legislative action, and even though untargeted loan forgiveness tends to benefit those with higher incomes and graduate degrees, Biden has used executive orders to push piecemeal giveaways. Frederick Hess, Forbes, 26 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Other states are likely to follow as shutoff notices are sent out, but this piecemeal approach will not protect struggling families nationwide. Mark Wolfe For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, 28 Apr. 2022 So far, Biden has taken a piecemeal approach to cancellation, forgiving debts for some disabled borrowers, some who have been defrauded, and certain public servants. Alicia Adamczyk, Fortune, 27 Apr. 2022 Is the administration's piecemeal approach picking low-hanging fruit? Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, 27 Apr. 2022 The situation in the food delivery industry underscores the difficulties with Shanghai’s piecemeal approach. Michelle Cheng, Quartz, 25 Apr. 2022 Designing data strategy is a tedious process, and with a piecemeal approach, the going only gets tougher. Lokesh Anand, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2022 Due to the country’s piecemeal approach to legalization, markets with extreme climates or fewer renewable energy sources are usually left to cultivate within their state — resulting in immense environmental consequences. Graham Farrar, Rolling Stone, 19 Apr. 2022 The Biden administration is working to expand forgiveness of student loans of students who successfully claim they were defrauded by schools, a key component of its piecemeal approach to reducing educational debt. Gabriel T. Rubin, WSJ, 13 Apr. 2022 Taking a piecemeal approach, the Biden administration has expanded existing loan forgiveness programs for borrowers who work in the public sector, those who were defrauded by for-profit colleges and borrowers who are now permanently disabled. Katie Lobosco, CNN, 27 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of piecemeal


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1593, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for piecemeal

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near piecemeal

piece mark


piece mold

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Statistics for piecemeal

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Piecemeal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/piecemeal. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for piecemeal


piece·​meal | \ ˈpēs-ˌmēl How to pronounce piecemeal (audio) \

Kids Definition of piecemeal

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

More from Merriam-Webster on piecemeal

Nglish: Translation of piecemeal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of piecemeal for Arabic Speakers


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