piecemeal

adverb
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

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

It was worked piecemeal and couldn’t be held in my brain in its entirety. David Means, Harper's magazine, "A writer alone with the work," 10 Apr. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Will it be hidden away until your new building is opened five years from now, then occasionally brought out piecemeal in temporary shows? Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "An open letter to LACMA architect Peter Zumthor: Stop dissing L.A.’s art," 9 July 2019 So what? City officials and the business community would prefer to pass a comprehensive tax bill, rather than deal with a flurry of piecemeal measures, which would help make their financial outlooks slightly more predictable. Dominic Fracassa, SFChronicle.com, "SF launches sweeping review of city’s business taxes," 3 July 2019 Data on tick and mosquito distribution is piecemeal in many areas. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "More dogs are getting sick as climate changes pushes diseases into new parts of the US," 15 June 2019 Sitting alongside Le Stradic, Zaluski saw snippets of messages on his phones but was unable to make sense of the piecemeal information into the deal, which would be announced two weeks later. Gaspard Sebag, Bloomberg.com, "Bankers Cleared After Seeing Tips Pop Up on Phone of Train Passenger," 29 Apr. 2019 This fear, that Hong Kong might elect a leader antagonistic to the interests of Beijing, has stood in the way of the government offering anything other than piecemeal reforms in the past. Time, "It Is Time for Democracy in Hong Kong," 2 July 2019 Even arguments for prison abolition are gaining traction, along with a skepticism of piecemeal reforms that may reinforce abusive prison systems. Dana Walters, The Conversation, "When America had an open prison – the story of Kenyon Scudder and his ‘prison without walls’," 14 June 2019 Grafton, another small Illinois community, has eschewed levees in favor of buyouts and a slow, piecemeal retreat to higher ground. Tristan Baurick, nola.com, "For some Mississippi River cities, there are only 2 choices — adapt or move: The River’s Revenge," 15 June 2019 The statute has also been hard to change because of the piecemeal measures that judges, lawmakers, and politicians have put in place over the years to quell its misuse. Jenna Krajeski, The New Yorker, "A Victim of Terrorism Faces Deportation for Helping Terrorists," 11 June 2019

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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Statistics for piecemeal

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce piecemeal (audio) \

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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