A piece is a section or a chunk of some larger thing, like a piece of cake or a piece of a broken lamp.

You can describe a serving of something, like pie, as a piece, and you can also call an individual item within a larger group a piece, like a piece of furniture or a piece of silverware. In this case, you're not breaking off a piece, but you're describing one thing out of a collection.

Primary Meanings of piece

a separate part of a whole
to join or unite the pieces of
an instance of some kind
a work of art of some artistic value
a portable gun
a distance
a period of indeterminate length (usually short) marked by some action or condition
Full Definitions of piece

n a separate part of a whole

“an important piece of the evidence”
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long thick piece of wood or metal or concrete, etc., used in construction
piece of cloth, piece of material
a separate part consisting of fabric
piece of leather
a separate part consisting of leather
a small piece of something that is left over after the rest has been used
fragment, shard, sherd
a broken piece of a brittle artifact
snip, snippet, snipping
a small piece of anything (especially a piece that has been snipped off)
a piece of wood that has been turned on a lathe; used as a baluster, chair leg, etc.
top part of an apron; covering the chest
box beam, box girder
a beam built up from boards; has a hollow rectangular cross section
projecting horizontal beam fixed at one end only
chamois cloth
a piece of chamois used for washing windows or cars
counter, heel counter
a piece of leather forming the back of a shoe or boot
dishcloth, dishrag
a cloth for washing dishes
drop cloth
a large piece of cloth laid over the floor or furniture while a room is being painted
dustcloth, duster, dustrag
a piece of cloth used for dusting
dust cover, dust sheet
a large piece of cloth used to cover furniture that is not in use for a long period
end, oddment, remainder, remnant
a piece of cloth that is left over after the rest has been used or sold
a beam made usually of steel; a main support in a structure
gore, panel
a piece of cloth that is generally triangular or tapering; used in making garments or umbrellas or sails
ground cloth, groundsheet
a waterproofed piece of cloth spread on the ground (as under a tent) to protect from moisture
a piece of starched cloth covering the shoulders of a nun's habit
gusset, inset
a piece of material used to strengthen or enlarge a garment
handkerchief, hankey, hankie, hanky
a square piece of cloth used for wiping the eyes or nose or as a costume accessory
a framing member crossing and supporting the ends of joists, studs, or rafters so as to transfer their weight to parallel joists, studs, or rafters
header, lintel
horizontal beam used as a finishing piece over a door or window
beam used to support a floor or ceiling
one of the main longitudinal beams (or plates) of the hull of a vessel; can extend vertically into the water to provide lateral stability
a longitudinal beam connected to the keel of ship to strengthen it
liner, lining
a piece of cloth that is used as the inside surface of a garment
longyi, lungi, lungyi
a long piece of brightly colored cloth (cotton or silk) used as clothing (a skirt or loincloth or sash etc.) in India and Pakistan and Burma
a piece of cloth used as decoration or to mend or cover a hole
a piece of cloth sewn under an opening
a shard of pottery
piece of leather that comprises the part of a shoe or boot covering the heel and joining the vamp
balk, baulk, rafter
one of several parallel sloping beams that support a roof
rag, shred, tag, tag end, tatter
a small piece of cloth or paper
rider plate
a horizontal beam (or plate) connected to the top of a ship's vertical keel or to the keelson
ridge, ridgepole, rooftree
a beam laid along the edge where two sloping sides of a roof meet at the top; provides an attachment for the upper ends of rafters
a piece of leather across the instep of a shoe
canvas, canvass, sail, sheet
a large piece of fabric (usually canvas fabric) by means of which wind is used to propel a sailing vessel
shore, shoring
a beam or timber that is propped against a structure to provide support
a sample piece of cloth
tie, tie beam
a horizontal beam used to prevent two other structural members from spreading apart or separating
a beam made of wood
a rectangular piece of absorbent cloth (or paper) for drying or wiping
piece of cloth forming the long back section of a gown that is drawn along the floor
crossbeam, crosspiece, trave, traverse
a horizontal beam that extends across something
piece of leather or synthetic material that forms the part of a shoe or boot above the sole that encases the foot
piece of leather forming the front part of the upper of a shoe
Type of:
part, portion
something less than the whole of a human artifact

n a serving that has been cut from a larger portion

“a piece of pie”
cutlet, escallop, scallop, scollop
thin slice of meat (especially veal) usually fried or broiled
filet, fillet, fish filet, fish fillet
a longitudinal slice or boned side of a fish
Type of:
helping, portion, serving
an individual quantity of food or drink taken as part of a meal

n a portion of a natural object

“he needed a piece of granite”
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North Atlantic
that part of the Atlantic Ocean to the north of the equator
North Pacific
that part of the Pacific Ocean to the north of the equator
South Atlantic
that part of the Atlantic Ocean to the south of the equator
South Pacific
that part of the Pacific Ocean to the south of the equator
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body part
any part of an organism such as an organ or extremity
the main part of an organ or other bodily structure
a needlelike part or structure of a plant or animal or crystal; as a spine or bristle or crystal
the bottom or lowest part
a projecting part where two sides or edges meet
the part of a continent that is stable and forms the central mass of the continent; typically Precambrian
a piece cut off from the main part of something
a piece broken off or cut off of something else
hunk, lump
a large piece of something without definite shape
nub, stub
a small piece
one of the parts into which something naturally divides
a thin flat piece cut off of some object
a relatively long narrow piece of something
a part of the earth that can be considered separately
posterior part of the back of a domestic fowl
a part lying on the lower side or underneath an animal's body
the back of a horse
the solid bony part of the tail of an animal as distinguished from the hair
one of the five areas on the undersurface of an echinoderm on which the tube feet are located
the highest part of the back at the base of the neck of various animals especially draft animals
cannon, shank
lower part of the leg extending from the hock to the fetlock in hoofed mammals
loin, lumbus
either side of the backbone between the hipbone and the ribs in humans as well as quadrupeds
croup, croupe, hindquarters, rump
the part of an animal that corresponds to the human buttocks
lower part of a horse's thigh between the hock and the stifle
the side between ribs and hipbone
part of an insect's body that bears the wings and legs
metamere, somite
one of a series of similar body segments into which some animals are divided longitudinally
(anatomy) a group of body parts that work together to perform a given function
adnexa, annexa
accessory or adjoining anatomical parts or appendages to an organ (especially of the embryo)
area, region
a part of an animal that has a special function or is supplied by a given artery or nerve
a muscle or nerve that dilates or widens a body part
groove, vallecula
(anatomy) any furrow or channel on a bodily structure or part
(anatomy) a structure that separates areas in an organism
external body part
any body part visible externally
anatomical structure, bodily structure, body structure, complex body part, structure
a particular complex anatomical part of a living thing
generally any arch shaped structure (but often it refers to the arched roof of an anatomical space)
a group of physiologically or anatomically related organs or parts
the dilated portion of a canal or duct especially of the semicircular canals of the ear
part of an organism consisting of an aggregate of cells having a similar structure and function
a projection below the mouth of certain mollusks that resembles a chin
a fully differentiated structural and functional unit in an animal that is specialized for some particular function
a bulging body part (as the belly of a muscle)
energid, protoplast
a biological unit consisting of a nucleus and the body of cytoplasm with which it interacts
one of the segments into which a myofibril is divided
appendage, outgrowth, process
a natural prolongation or projection from a part of an organism either animal or plant
(anatomy) a somewhat rounded subdivision of a bodily organ or part
the terminal section of the alimentary canal; from the sigmoid flexure to the anus
the part of the body between the neck and the upper arm
body, torso, trunk
the body excluding the head and neck and limbs
chest, pectus, thorax
the part of the human torso between the neck and the diaphragm or the corresponding part in other vertebrates
the middle region of the body of an arthropod between the head and the abdomen
either side of the body below the waist and above the thigh
the hip and buttock and upper thigh in human beings
abdomen, belly, stomach, venter
the region of the body of a vertebrate between the thorax and the pelvis
the back of the body of a vertebrate or any analogous surface (as the upper or outer surface of an organ or appendage or part)
back, dorsum
the posterior part of a human (or animal) body from the neck to the end of the spine
the slender part of the back
ass, backside, behind, bottom, bum, buns, butt, buttocks, can, derriere, fanny, fundament, hind end, hindquarters, keister, nates, posterior, prat, rear, rear end, rump, seat, stern, tail, tail end, tooshie, tush
the fleshy part of the human body that you sit on
buttock, cheek
either of the two large fleshy masses of muscular tissue that form the human rump
the part of a limb or tooth that remains after the rest is removed
the part of the human leg between the knee and the ankle
the front part of the human leg between the knee and the ankle
forepart of a hoof
articulatio, articulation, joint
(anatomy) the point of connection between two bones or elements of a skeleton (especially if it allows motion)
the region of the hips and groin and lower abdomen
feature, lineament
the characteristic parts of a person's face: eyes and nose and mouth and chin
the remains of a body part that was functional at an earlier stage of life
a segment of a citrus fruit
bit, chip, flake, fleck, scrap
a small fragment of something broken off from the whole
a fragment of brick used as a weapon
cinder, clinker
a fragment of incombustible matter left after a wood or coal or charcoal fire
(geology) a constituent fragment of a clastic rock
coal, ember
a hot fragment of wood or coal that is left from a fire and is glowing or smoldering
a fragment rubbed off by the use of a file
(mineralogy) a small rounded lump of mineral substance (usually harder than the surrounding rock or sediment)
a small nub (especially an undeveloped fruit or ear of corn)
a solid lump of a precious metal (especially gold) as found in the earth
paring, shaving, sliver
a thin fragment or slice (especially of wood) that has been shaved from something
something that has been pruned off of a plant
restriction fragment
the fragment of DNA that is produced by cleaving DNA with a restriction enzyme
a long continuous strip (usually running horizontally)
(usually plural) a fragment scraped off of something and collected
a very thin slice (of tissue or mineral or other substance) for examination under a microscope
spall, spawl
a fragment broken off from the edge or face of stone or ore and having at least one thin edge
a small fragment of a burning substance thrown out by burning material or by friction
a segment of a stem between two nodes
Type of:
a separate and self-contained entity

n a share of something

Type of:
part, percentage, portion, share
assets belonging to or due to or contributed by an individual person or group

v to join or unite the pieces of

vamp, vamp up
piece (something old) with a new part
Type of:
conjoin, join
make contact or come together

v create by putting components or members together

“She pieced a quilt”
assemble, put together, set up, tack, tack together
break apart, break up, disassemble, dismantle, take apart
take apart into its constituent pieces
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comfit, confect, confection
make into a confection
confuse, jumble, mix up
assemble without order or sense
assemble once again, after taking something apart
set up for a particular purpose
create by mixing or combining
rig up
erect or construct, especially as a temporary measure
addle, muddle, puddle
mix up or confuse
Type of:
bring together, join
cause to become joined or linked
create, make
make or cause to be or to become

v repair by adding pieces

“She pieced the china cup”
Type of:
bushel, doctor, fix, furbish up, mend, repair, restore, touch on
restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken

v join during spinning

piece the broken pieces of thread, slivers, and rovings”
Type of:
join by interweaving strands

v eat intermittently; take small bites of

“He pieced at the sandwich all morning”
nibble, pick
Type of:
take in solid food

n an instance of some kind

“it was a nice piece of work”
Type of:
case, example, instance
an occurrence of something

n an item that is an instance of some type

“he designed a new piece of equipment”
“she bought a lovely piece of china”
Type of:
a whole individual unit; especially when included in a list or collection

n game equipment consisting of an object used in playing certain board games

“he sacrificed a piece to get a strategic advantage”
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(board games) the darker pieces
checker, chequer
one of the flat round pieces used in playing the game of checkers
chess piece, chessman
any of 16 white and 16 black pieces used in playing the game of chess
game equipment consisting of a flat thin piece marked with characters and used in board games like Mah-Jong, Scrabble, etc.
(board games) the lighter pieces
(chess) a piece that can be moved diagonally over unoccupied squares of the same color
castle, rook
(chess) the piece that can move any number of unoccupied squares in a direction parallel to the sides of the chessboard
(chess) the weakest but the most important piece
a checker that has been moved to the opponent's first row where it is promoted to a piece that is free to move either forward or backward
horse, knight
a chessman shaped to resemble the head of a horse; can move two squares horizontally and one vertically (or vice versa)
(chess) the least powerful piece; moves only forward and captures only to the side; it can be promoted to a more powerful piece if it reaches the 8th rank
(chess) the most powerful piece
Type of:
game equipment
equipment or apparatus used in playing a game

n a work of art of some artistic value

“it is not known who created this piece
art object, objet d'art
objet d'art collectively (especially fine antiques)
Type of:
work of art
art that is a product of one of the fine arts (especially a painting or sculpture of artistic merit)

n an artistic or literary composition

“he wrote an interesting piece on Iran”
“the children acted out a comic piece to amuse the guests”
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nonfictional prose forming an independent part of a publication
a short literary or musical composition
a brief dramatic piece (usually comic) presented after a play
an incomplete piece
a missing piece (as a gap in a manuscript)
column, editorial, newspaper column
an article giving opinions or perspectives
feature, feature article
a special or prominent article in a newspaper or magazine
magazine article
an article published in a magazine
news article, news story, newspaper article
an article reporting news
offprint, reprint, separate
a separately printed article that originally appeared in a larger publication
a scholarly article describing the results of observations or stating hypotheses
think piece
an article in a newspaper or magazine or journal that represents opinions and ideas and discussion rather than bare facts
bit, snatch
a small fragment
a farcical afterpiece in the ancient Roman theater
Type of:
an artifact that has been brought into existence by someone

n a musical work that has been created

composition, musical composition, opus, piece of music
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a short literary or musical composition
sheet music
a musical composition in printed or written form
arrangement, musical arrangement
a piece of music that has been adapted for performance by a particular set of voices or instruments
realisation, realization
a musical composition that has been completed or enriched by someone other than the composer
a short piece of instrumental music composed for performance between acts of a drama or opera
a musical composition or musical passage to be performed quickly in a brisk lively manner
a musical composition or musical passage to be performed at a somewhat quicker tempo than andante but not as fast as allegro
a musical composition or musical passage to be performed moderately slow
a composition of vocal music that is appropriate for opening church services
a musical composition for one voice or instrument (with or without accompaniment)
duet, duette, duo
a musical composition for two performers
a musical composition for three performers
quartet, quartette
a musical composition for four performers
quintet, quintette
a musical composition for five performers
sestet, sextet, sextette
a musical composition written for six performers
septet, septette
a musical composition written for seven performers
octet, octette
a musical composition written for eight performers
a light piece of music for piano
divertimento, serenade
a musical composition in several movements; has no fixed form
a contrapuntal piece of music in which a melody in one part is imitated exactly in other parts
a short composition for a solo instrument; intended as an exercise or to demonstrate technical virtuosity
idyl, idyll, pastoral, pastorale
a musical composition that evokes rural life
a baroque musical composition (usually for a keyboard instrument) with full chords and rapid elaborate runs in a rhythmically free style
a musical composition of a free form usually incorporating several familiar themes
musical passage, passage
a short section of a musical composition
a major self-contained part of a symphony or sonata
(music) a composition or passage that is to be performed in a slow and dignified manner
(music) a composition or passage played in a slow tempo slightly faster than largo but slower than adagio
a musical composition of several movements only loosely connected
symphonic poem, tone poem
an orchestral composition based on literature or folk tales
medley, pastiche, potpourri
a musical composition consisting of a series of songs or other musical pieces from various sources
nocturne, notturno
a pensive lyrical piece of music (especially for the piano)
(music) a composition played in adagio tempo (slowly and gracefully)
song, vocal
a short musical composition with words
a composition intended to develop one aspect of the performer's technique
an instrumental composition that doesn't adhere to rules for any specific musical form and is played with improvisation
an unaccompanied choral composition with sacred lyrics; intended to be sung as part of a church service; originated in the 13th century
program music, programme music
musical compositions intended to evoke images or remind the listener of events
incidental music
music composed to accompany the action of a drama or to fill intervals between scenes
an improvisational and emotional musical composition with an irregular form
lead sheet
a sheet containing the words and melody for a song (and some indication of harmony) written in simple form
piano music
sheet music to be played on a piano
musical score, score
a written form of a musical composition; parts for different instruments appear on separate staves on large pages
religious song
religious music for singing
an arrangement of a piece of music for performance by an orchestra or band
the instruments called for in a musical score or arrangement for a band or orchestra
a musical composition or musical passage to be performed quickly in a brisk lively manner
a musical composition or musical passage to be performed at a somewhat quicker tempo than andante but not as fast as allegro
a musical composition or musical passage to be performed moderately slow
a short movement coming between the major sections of a symphony
composition (often improvised) for a solo instrument (especially solo organ) and not a regular part of a religious service or musical performance
enigma canon, enigmatic canon, enigmatical canon, riddle canon
a canon in which the entrances of successive parts were indicated by cryptic symbols and devices (popular in the 15th and 16th centuries)
a brief introductory passage to a piece of popular music
musical phrase, phrase
a short musical passage
the close of a musical section
a brilliant solo passage occurring near the end of a piece of music
(music) a composition or passage that is to be performed in a slow and dignified manner
a fast movement (usually in triple time)
(music) an instrumental suite common in the 18th century
(music) a composition played in adagio tempo (slowly and gracefully)
a song of devotion or loyalty (as to a nation or school)
an elaborate song for solo voice
ballad, lay
a narrative song with a recurrent refrain
barcarole, barcarolle
a boating song sung by Venetian gondoliers
a short simple song (or the words of a poem intended to be sung)
coronach, dirge, lament, requiem, threnody
a song or hymn of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person
drinking song
a song celebrating the joys of drinking; sung at drinking parties
folk ballad, folk song, folksong
a song that is traditionally sung by the common people of a region and forms part of their culture
a German art song of the 19th century for voice and piano
love song, love-song
a song about love or expressing love for another person
berceuse, cradlesong, lullaby
a quiet song intended to lull a child to sleep
golden oldie, oldie
a song that was formerly popular
a song with two or more voice parts
prothalamion, prothalamium
a song in celebration of a marriage
a song in which a line or phrase is repeated as the refrain
banquet song, scolion
a song (sometimes improvised) sung by guests at a banquet
a song characteristically played outside the house of a love interest
torch song
a popular song concerned with disappointment in love
work song
a usually rhythmical song to accompany repetitious work
a vocal passage of narrative text that a singer delivers with natural rhythms of speech
modulation, transition
a musical passage moving from one key to another
a short musical passage that seems to have been made spontaneously without advance preparation
Type of:
an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner

n a portable gun

firearm, small-arm
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autoloader, self-loader
a firearm that reloads itself
muzzle loader
an obsolete firearm that was loaded through the muzzle
handgun, pistol, shooting iron, side arm
a firearm that is held and fired with one hand
repeater, repeating firearm
a firearm that can fire several rounds without reloading
a shoulder firearm with a long barrel and a rifled bore
riot gun
a firearm designed to disperse rioters rather than to inflict serious injury or death
scattergun, shotgun
firearm that is a double-barreled smoothbore shoulder weapon for firing shot at short ranges
a firearm that has no rifling
.22, twenty-two
a .22 caliber firearm (pistol or rifle)
arquebus, hackbut, hagbut, harquebus
an obsolete firearm with a long barrel
automatic firearm, automatic gun, automatic weapon
a firearm that reloads itself and keeps firing until the trigger is released
automatic, automatic pistol
a pistol that will keep firing until the ammunition is gone or the trigger is released
light automatic rifle
a pocket pistol of large caliber with a short barrel
firelock, flintlock
a muzzle loader that had a flintlock type of gunlock
a .45-caliber pistol
fowling piece
a light shotgun used for fowling
Garand, Garand rifle, M-1, M-1 rifle
a semiautomatic rifle
gat, rod
a gangster's pistol
horse pistol, horse-pistol
a large pistol (usually in a holster) formerly carried by horsemen
trademark for a repeating rifle or pistol
a muzzle-loading shoulder gun with a long barrel; formerly used by infantrymen
the pistol of a law officer in the old West
revolver, six-gun, six-shooter
a pistol with a revolving cylinder (usually having six chambers for bullets)
Saturday night special
a cheap handgun that is easily obtained
sawed-off shotgun
a shotgun with short barrels
semiautomatic firearm
an autoloader that fires only one shot at each pull of the trigger
semiautomatic, semiautomatic pistol
a pistol that is a semiautomatic firearm capable of loading and firing continuously
precision rifle, sniper rifle
an extremely powerful rifle developed for the military; capable of destroying light armored vehicles and aircraft more than a mile away
twenty-two pistol
a .22-caliber pistol
twenty-two rifle
a .22-caliber rifle
Verey pistol, Very pistol
a pistol for firing Very-light flares
a shoulder rifle
zip gun
a crude homemade pistol
Type of:
a weapon that discharges a missile at high velocity (especially from a metal tube or barrel)

n a distance

“it is down the road a piece
Type of:
the property created by the space between two objects or points

n a period of indeterminate length (usually short) marked by some action or condition

“I need to rest for a piece
patch, spell, while
cold snap, cold spell
a spell of cold weather
hot spell
a spell of hot weather
a spell of cold weather
Type of:
an indefinite period (usually marked by specific attributes or activities)

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