Meaning of PIECE in English

/ piːs; NAmE / noun , verb

■ noun



[ C ] piece (of sth) (used especially with of and uncountable nouns) an amount of sth that has been cut or separated from the rest of it; a standard amount of sth :

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.



[ C , usually pl. ] one of the bits or parts that sth 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.


[ C ] one of the parts that sth 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

—see also one-piece , two-piece , three-piece



[ C ] (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


[ C ] piece of sth used with many uncountable nouns to describe a single example or an amount of sth :

a piece of advice / information / news

an interesting piece of research

Isn't that a piece of luck ?


[ C ] piece (of sth) a single item of writing, art, music, etc. that sb 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 , party piece , period piece , showpiece



[ C ] 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



[ C ] a coin of the value mentioned :

a 50p piece

a five-cent piece

IN CHESS, etc.


[ C ] one of the small figures or objects that you move around in games such as chess

—picture at backgammon



[ sing. ] piece of sth ( especially NAmE ) a part or share of sth :

companies seeking a piece of the market



[ C ] ( NAmE , slang ) a gun



a piece [ sing. ] ( old-fashioned , NAmE , informal ) a short distance :

She lives down the road a piece from here.

HELP NOTE : You will find other compounds ending in piece at their place in the alphabet.


- a / some piece of work

- fall to pieces

- give sb a piece of your mind

- go to pieces

- (all) in one piece

- (all) of a piece

- pick / pull / tear sb/sth to pieces / shreds

- a piece of cake

- a piece of piss

—more at action , bit , long adjective , nasty , pick verb , pie , say verb , villain

■ verb


- piece sth together




If 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 and ( BrE , informal ) bit are very general words and can be used with most uncountable nouns:

a piece of paper / wood / string / cake / fruit / meat / work / research / advice

a bit of paper / work / chocolate / luck.

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 / rock / mud

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 / dirt.

You can also say:

a speck of light

Drop is used with liquids:

a drop of water / rain / blood / milk / whisky

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 chicken



Middle English : from Old French piece (compare with medieval Latin pecia , petium ), of obscure ultimate origin.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.