American English

Definition of piece noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    jump to other results
    separate amount
  1. 1[countable] piece (of something) (used especially with of and uncountable nouns) an amount of something that has been cut or separated from the rest of it; a standard amount of something a piece of string/wood She wrote something on a small piece of paper. a large piece of land a piece of cake/cheese/meat He cut the pizza into bite-sized pieces. I've got a piece of grit in my eye.
  2. part
  3. 2[countable, usually plural] one of the bits or parts that something breaks into There were tiny pieces of glass all over the road. The boat had been smashed to pieces on the rocks. The vase lay in pieces on the floor.
  4. 3[countable] one of the parts that something is made of He took the clock to pieces. a missing piece of the puzzle The bridge was taken down piece by piece. a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle see also one-piece, two-piece, three-piece
  5. single item
  6. 4[countable] (used especially with of and uncountable nouns) a single item of a particular type, especially one that forms part of a set a piece of clothing/furniture/luggage a piece of equipment/machinery a 28-piece dinner service
  7. 5[countable] piece of something used with many uncountable nouns to describe a single example or an amount of something a piece of advice/information/news an interesting piece of research Isn't that a piece of luck?
  8. 6[countable] piece (of something) a single item of writing, art, music, etc. that someone has produced or created a piece of art/music/poetry, etc. They performed pieces by Bach and Handel. (formal) They have some beautiful pieces (= works of art, etc.) in their home. see also masterpiece, museum piece, period piece, showpiece
  9. news article
  10. 7[countable] an article in a newspaper or magazine, or a broadcast on television or radio Did you see her piece about the Internet in the paper today? see also set piece
  11. coin
  12. 8[countable] a coin of the value mentioned a five-cent piece
  13. in chess, etc.
  14. 9[countable] one of the small figures or objects that you move around in games such as chess
  15. share of something
  16. 10[singular] piece of something a part or share of something companies seeking a piece of the market
  17. gun
  18. 11[countable] (slang) a gun
  19. distance
  20. 12a piece [singular] (old-fashioned) (informal) a short distance She lives down the road a piece from here. You will find other compounds ending in piece at their place in the alphabet.
  21. Vocabulary BuildingPiecesof thingsIf you want to talk about a small amount or one example of something that is normally an uncountable noun, there is a range of words you can use. You must choose the right one to go with the substance you are talking about. Piece is a very general word and can be used with most uncountable nouns:a piece of paper/wood/string/cake/fruit/meat/work/research/advice Bit can be used with abstract uncountable nouns:a bit of luck/confidence/attention A slice is a thin, flat piece:a slice of bread/cake/salami/cheese/pie/apple(figurative)a slice of life A chunk is a thick, solid piece:a chunk of cheese/bread/rock a chunk of land (= a fairly large piece) A lump is a piece of something solid without any particular shape:a lump of coal/clay A fragment is a very small piece of something that is broken or damaged:fragments of glass(figurative)fragments of conversation.It can also be used with countable nouns to mean a small part of something:a fragment of the story A speck is a tiny piece of powder:a speck of dust/dirtYou can also say:a speck of light Drop is used with liquids:a drop of water/rain/blood/milk/whiskey A pinch is as much as you can hold between your finger and thumb:a pinch of salt/cinnamon A portion is enough for one person:a portion of chickenIdioms
    bits and pieces (informal)
    jump to other results
    small objects or items of various kinds She stuffed all the bits and pieces into a bag and left.
      fall to pieces
      jump to other results
    1. 1(usually used in the progressive tenses) (of things) to become very old and in bad condition because of long use synonym fall apart Our car is falling to pieces, we've had it so long.
    2. 2(of a person, an organization, a plan, etc.) to stop working; to be destroyed He's worried the business will fall to pieces without him.
    give somebody a piece of your mind (informal)
    jump to other results
    to tell someone that you disapprove of their behavior or are angry with them
    go to pieces (informal)
    jump to other results
    (of a person) to be so upset or afraid that you cannot manage to live or work normally After his wife died he just went to pieces.
    (all) in one piece (informal)
    jump to other results
    safe; not damaged or hurt, especially after a journey or dangerous experience They were lucky to get home in one piece.
      (all) of a piece (formal)
      jump to other results
    1. 1all the same or similar The houses are all of a piece.
    2. 2all at the same time The house was built all of a piece in 1854.
    pick/pull/tear somebody/something to pieces/shreds (informal)
    jump to other results
    to criticize someone, or their work or ideas, very severely
    pick up the pieces
    jump to other results
    to return or to help someone return to a normal situation, particularly after a shock or a disaster You cannot live your children's lives for them; you can only be there to pick up the pieces when things go wrong.
    a piece of the action (informal)
    jump to other results
    a share or role in an interesting or exciting activity, especially in order to make money Foreign firms will all want a piece of the action if the new airport goes ahead.
    a piece of cake (informal)
    jump to other results
    a thing that is very easy to do
    a piece/slice/share of the pie
    jump to other results
    a share of something such as money, profits, etc.
    a/some piece of work (informal)
    jump to other results
    used to express the fact that you admire someone or find them amusing, often when they have done something that surprises you She's a real piece of work. You're some piece of work, Jack, do you know that?
    say your piece
    jump to other results
    to say exactly what you feel or think
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: piece