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1 (def 8).
[pahy] /paɪ/
a baked food having a filling of fruit, meat, pudding, etc., prepared in a pastry-lined pan or dish and often topped with a pastry crust:
apple pie; meat pie.
a layer cake with a filling of custard, cream jelly, or the like:
chocolate cream pie.
a total or whole that can be divided:
They want a bigger part of the profit pie.
an activity or affair:
He has his finger in the political pie too.
easy as pie, extremely easy or simple.
nice as pie, extremely well-behaved, agreeable, or the like:
The children were nice as pie.
pie in the sky,

a baked food consisting of a sweet or savoury filling in a pastry-lined dish, often covered with a pastry crust
have a finger in the pie

pie in the sky, illusory hope or promise of some future good; false optimism
an archaic or dialect name for magpie
noun, verb
(printing) a variant spelling of pi2
a very small former Indian coin worth one third of a pice
(history) a book for finding the Church service for any particular day
(NZ, informal) be pie on, to be keen on

“pastry,” mid-14c. (probably older; piehus “bakery” is attested from late 12c.), from Medieval Latin pie “meat or fish enclosed in pastry” (c.1300), perhaps related to Medieval Latin pia “pie, pastry,” also possibly connected with pica “magpie” (see pie (n.2)) on notion of the bird’s habit of collecting miscellaneous objects. Figurative of “something to be shared out” by 1967.

According to OED, not known outside English, except Gaelic pighe, which is from English. In the Middle Ages, a pie had many ingredients, a pastry but one. Fruit pies began to appear c.1600. Figurative sense of “something easy” is from 1889. Pie-eyed “drunk” is from 1904. Phrase pie in the sky is 1911, from Joe Hill’s Wobbly parody of hymns. Pieman is not attested earlier than the nursery rhyme “Simple Simon” (c.1820). Pie chart is from 1922.

“magpie,” mid-13c. (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French pie (13c.), from Latin pica “magpie” (see magpie). In 16c., a wily pie was a “cunning person.”

also pi, printers’ slang for “a mass of type jumbled together” (also pi, pye), 1650s, perhaps from pie (n.1) on notion of a “medley,” or pie (n.2); cf. pica (n.1). As a verb from 1870. Related: Pied.

A preposterously optimistic goal: “The candidate says we can balance the budget by next year, but I think that’s pie in the sky.”


An easy task or job; gravy: That’s pie for him (1889+)

Related Terms

apple-pie order, cutesy-poo, cutie-pie, easy as pie, fur pie, hair pie, sweetie-pie


: It was a bit of a pie-in-the-sky idea

noun phrase

The reward one will get for compliant behavior, later; hence wishful thinking or utopian fantasies

[1911+; fr a Wobbly expression of contempt for those who maintained that suffering and penury on earth would be compensated by bliss and luxury in heaven; the locus classicus is a 1911 parody of the hymn ”In the Sweet By and By,” by the Wobbly martyr Joe Hill]
In addition to the idiom beginning with


Read Also:

  • Pieman

    /ˈpaɪmən/ noun (pl) -men 1. (Brit, obsolete) a seller of pies

  • Piemonte

    [pye-mawn-te] /pyɛˈmɔn tɛ/ noun 1. Italian name of . /Italian pjeˈmonte/ noun 1. the Italian name for Piedmont (sense 1)

  • Pien

    [peend] /pind/ noun 1. .

  • Pienaar

    /pɪəˈnɑː/ noun 1. (Jacobus) Francois. born 1967, South African Rugby Union footballer; captain of the South African team that won the Rugby World Cup in 1995

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