When you do something piecemeal, you're doing it little by little, but in a seemingly random way, with no order or system.

Say you're a computer geek and someone calls you desperate to find out how to fix a computer that's just crashed. If you respond piecemeal to the caller's questions, she'll have to call you back many times to get all the information she needs to get the computer up again. You may like to talk to her, but she's not going to be impressed with your computer smarts.

Definitions of piecemeal
  1. adjective
    one thing at a time
    synonyms: bit-by-bit, in small stages, step-by-step, stepwise
    proceeding in small stages
  2. adverb
    a little bit at a time
    “the research structure has developed piecemeal
    synonyms: bit by bit, in stages, little by little
Word Family