piece ( pieces plural & 3rd person present) ( piecing present participle) ( pieced past tense & past participle )
1 n-count A piece of something is an amount of it that has been broken off, torn off, or cut off.
usu N of n
...a piece of cake., ...a few words scrawled on a piece of paper..., Cut the ham into pieces..., Do you want another piece?
2 n-count A piece of an object is one of the individual parts or sections which it is made of, especially a part that can be removed.
The equipment was taken down the shaft in pieces.
3 n-count A piece of land is an area of land.
usu N of n
People struggle to get the best piece of land.
4 n-count You can use piece of with many uncount nouns to refer to an individual thing of a particular kind. For example, you can refer to some advice as a piece of advice.
N of n
When I produced this piece of work, my lecturers were very critical..., ...an interesting piece of information., ...a sturdy piece of furniture...
5 n-count You can refer to an article in a newspaper or magazine, some music written by someone, a broadcast, or a play as a piece.
I disagree with Andrew Russell over his piece on British Rail.
6 n-count You can refer to a work of art as a piece.
FORMAL Each piece is unique, an exquisite painting of a real person, done on ivory...
7 n-count You can refer to specific coins as pieces. For example, a 10p piece is a coin that is worth 10p.
8 n-count The pieces which you use when you play a board game such as chess are the specially made objects which you move around on the board.
9 quant A piece of something is part of it or a share of it.
(AM) QUANT of def-n
They got a small piece of the net profits and a screen credit.
11 If you give someone a piece of your mind, you tell them very clearly that you think they have behaved badly.
to give sb a piece of your mind phrase V inflects
How very thoughtless. I'll give him a piece of my mind.
12 If something with several different parts is all of a piece, each part is consistent with the others. If one thing is of a piece with another, it is consistent with it.
all of a piece/of a piece phrase v-link PHR, oft PHR with n
At its peak in the Thirties, Underground design and architecture was all of a piece...
13 If someone or something is still in one piece after a dangerous journey or experience, they are safe and not damaged or hurt.
in one piece phrase v-link PHR, PHR after v
...providing that my brother gets back alive and in one piece from his mission.
14 You use to pieces in expressions such as `smash to pieces', and mainly in British English `fall to pieces' or `take something to pieces', when you are describing how something is broken or comes apart so that it is in separate pieces.
to pieces phrase PHR after v
If the shell had hit the boat, it would have blown it to pieces..., Do you wear your old clothes until they fall to pieces?
15 If you go to pieces, you are so upset or nervous that you lose control of yourself and cannot do what you should do.
go to pieces phrase V inflects
She's a strong woman, but she nearly went to pieces when Arnie died.
a piece of the action
bits and pieces
a piece of cake
to pick up the pieces
pick up piece together
1 phrasal verb If you piece together the truth about something, you gradually discover it.
They've pieced together his movements for the last few days before his death... V P n (not pron)
In the following days, Francis was able to piece together what had happened... V P wh
Frank was beginning to piece things together. V n P
2 phrasal verb If you piece something together, you gradually make it by joining several things or parts together. This process is akin to piecing together a jigsaw puzzle... V P n (not pron)
museum piece ( museum pieces plural ) If you describe an object or building as a museum piece, you mean that it is old and unusual. n-count
One day these are multi-million dollar war machines and the next they are museum pieces.
one-piece ( one-pieces plural )
1 adj A one-piece article of clothing consists of one piece only, rather than two or more separate parts.
...a blue one-piece bathing suit.
2 n-count A one-piece is a type of woman's swimming costume that consists of one piece of material and which covers her chest.
A one-piece is more flattering than a bikini.
party piece ( party pieces plural ) Someone's party piece is something that they often do to entertain people, especially at parties, for example singing a particular song or saying a particular poem.
INFORMAL n-count oft poss N
period piece ( period pieces plural ) A period piece is a play, book, or film that is set at a particular time in history and describes life at that time. n-count
-piece combines with numbers to form adjectives indicating that something consists of a particular number of items. comb in adj ADJ n
...his well-cut three-piece suit., ...a hundred-piece dinner service.
pièce de résistance
The pièce de résistance of a collection or series of things is the most impressive thing in it.
The pièce de résistance, however, was a gold evening gown.
set piece ( set pieces plural ) , set-piece
1 n-count A set piece is an occasion such as a battle or a move in a game of football that is planned and carried out in an ordered way.
oft N n
Guerrillas avoid fighting set-piece battles...
2 n-count A set piece is a part of a film, novel, or piece of music which has a strong dramatic effect and which is often not an essential part of the main story.
...the film's martial arts set pieces.
think piece ( think pieces plural ) , think-piece A think piece is an article in a newspaper or magazine that discusses a particular subject in a serious and thoughtful way. n-count
1 adj A three-piece suit is a set of three pieces of matching clothing, usually a man's jacket, waistcoat, and trousers.
2 adj A three-piece suite is a sofa and two matching armchairs.
(mainly BRIT) ADJ n
two-piece ( two-pieces plural ) , two piece
1 adj You can use two-piece to describe something, especially a set of clothing, that is in two parts.
...a two-piece bathing suit.
2 n-count A two-piece is a woman's suit which consists of a jacket and a skirt or pair of trousers.