piece by piece; one piece at a time; gradually:
to work piecemeal.
into pieces or fragments:
to tear a letter piecemeal.
by degrees; bit by bit; gradually
in or into pieces or piece from piece: to tear something piecemeal
fragmentary or unsystematic: a piecemeal approach
c.1300 (originally two words), from piece (n.) + Old English mælum “at a time,” dative plural of mæl “appointed time, food served” (see meal (n.1)). The second element once was more commonly used, e.g. Old English styccemælum “bit by bit,” gearmælum “year by year.” One-word form from 15c.
- Piece of calico
noun phrase A woman [first form 1880+, variant 1751+; piece meant ”woman” as long ago as the 1400s]
- Piece of change
noun phrase (Variations: hunk may replace piece; jack may replace change) Money, esp a large amount: which would come to quite a piece of change (1914+) A sum of money, especially a considerable amount, as in That car is worth a piece of change. [ ; early 1900s ]
noun 1. (def 4). noun (pl) pieces of eight 1. a former Spanish coin worth eight reals; peso
noun 1. a piece of plate armor for reinforcing or replacing a piece ordinarily used in a suit.