piece·​work | \ ˈpēs-ˌwərk How to pronounce piecework (audio) \

Definition of piecework

: work done by the piece and paid for at a set rate per unit

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Other Words from piecework

pieceworker \ ˈpēs-​ˌwər-​kər How to pronounce piecework (audio) \ noun

Examples of piecework in a Sentence

doing piecework in a factory
Recent Examples on the Web To try to fill the hole in their budget, Bautista did piecework, embroidering and sewing sequins on dresses. Elizabeth Weil, ProPublica, 22 Aug. 2021 Their work belongs to a grim history of women in outsourced roles stretching back to the piecework manufacturing era. Ken Armstrong, ProPublica, 23 July 2021 In the Age of Information, though, piecework need not be menial or low-paid. Robert Zafft, Forbes, 20 June 2021 In industrializing countries, for example, remote piecework became popular for menial tasks, such as sewing buttons on cards, or filling matchboxes. Robert Zafft, Forbes, 20 June 2021 New in America, her mother did piecework and then ran a sewing factory. Los Angeles Times, 3 Apr. 2021 In the preindustrial world, piecework systems for industries like textile manufacturing made the homestead the center of much working-class labor as well. Richard Cooke, The New Republic, 4 Jan. 2021 Donato later got into piecework, creating cinder building blocks — back-breaking work. Mike Anthony, courant.com, 20 Nov. 2020 When Maine’s economy suffered from the oil crisis in the Seventies, and my father’s wages stalled, my mother picked apples, did piecework for Bass shoes, and worked as a school secretary to supplement their income. Kerri Arsenault, The New York Review of Books, 1 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'piecework.' 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 piecework

1549, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for piecework

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The first known use of piecework was in 1549

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Last Updated

1 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Piecework.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/piecework. Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for piecework



English Language Learners Definition of piecework

: work in which you are paid for each thing you make or do and not for the amount of time you work


piece·​work | \ ˈpēs-ˌwərk How to pronounce piecework (audio) \

Legal Definition of piecework

: work done by the piece and paid for at a set rate per unit


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