Meaning of “piece” in the English Dictionary

"piece" in British English

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piecenoun [ C ]

uk /piːs/ us /piːs/

piece noun [ C ] (PART)

A2 a part of something:

a piece of cloth torn from her coat
He cut the cake into six pieces.
This jigsaw puzzle has two pieces missing.
The vase lay on the floor in pieces (= broken into small parts).
She tried to break/tear a small piece off the edge.
The building was taken apart and reassembled piece by piece (= one part after another).
in one piece

as a single thing and not divided into smaller pieces:

We want to sell the business in one piece.
come/fall to pieces

to break apart into smaller parts:

The glass must have been cracked - it just fell to pieces in my hand.
His clothes were dirty and falling to pieces.

More examples

  • I'm going to have another piece of cake.
  • A piece of shell fell into the cake mixture.
  • He broke off a piece of chocolate.
  • I dropped the vase and it broke into pieces.
  • She ripped up his letters and burned the pieces.

piece noun [ C ] (THING)

A2 a single object of a particular type:

a piece of paper (= a whole sheet)
a piece of china (= an object made of china)
a piece of information/advice

B2 something that has been created by an artist, musician, or writer:

a skilful piece of work/research
Did you read that piece (= article) in the newspaper?

a single thing that forms part of a set:

a chess piece

a coin with a stated value:

Could you swap me two quarters for a 50 cent piece?

More examples

  • I read an interesting piece of information in the newspaper.
  • If you listen carefully to this piece of music, you can hear a flute in the background.
  • Valuable pieces of china were on display in a glass-fronted cabinet.
  • How many pieces of baggage do you have?
  • The winning novel truly is a magnificent piece of writing.

-piecesuffix

uk / -piːs/ us / -piːs/

(Definition of “piece” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"piece" in American English

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piecenoun [ C ]

us /pis/

piece noun [ C ] (PART)

a part of something:

a piece of cake/chicken/pizza
The vase lay on the floor in pieces (= broken into small parts).
She was so mad that she ripped the letter to pieces (= into small parts).

piece noun [ C ] (ITEM)

a single item that is one of other similar items:

I have an important piece of information for you.

A piece can be something created by an artist, writer, or musician:

He’s written a new piece of music.

(Definition of “piece” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"piece" in Business English

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piecenoun [ C ]

uk /piːs/ us

a single thing of a particular type, especially one of many:

a piece of sth A faulty piece of software caused the bank's online facility to shut down for three hours.
He produced an excellent piece of work.

a coin that has a value below 100 pence, cents, etc.:

a fifty-pence/fifty-cent piece
pay/buy/sell by the piece

COMMERCE to pay for, buy, or sell something in single units rather than in groups:

The stitchers are paid a salary rather than by the piece.
In those days stores sold candy by the piece for a penny.

See also

(Definition of “piece” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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