PIECE, n. [Heb. to cut off or clip.]1. A fragment or part of any thing separated from the whole, in any manner, by cutting, splitting, breaking or tearing; as, to cut in pieces, break in pieces, tear in pieces, pull in pieces, &c.; a piece of a rock; a piece of paper.2. A part of any thing, though not separated, or separated only in idea; not the whole; a portion; as a piece of excellent knowledge.3. A distinct part or quantity; a part considered by itself, or separated from the rest only by a boundary or divisional line; as a piece of land in the meadow or on the mountain.4. A separate part; a thing or portion distinct from others of a like kind; as a piece of timber; a piece of cloth; a piece of paper hangings.5. A composition, essay or writing of no great length; as a piece of poetry or prose; a piece of music.6. A separate performance; a distinct portion of labor; as a piece of work.7. A picture or painting. If unnatural, the finest colors are but daubing,and the piece is a beautiful monster at the best.8. A coin; as a piece of eight.9. A gun or single part of ordnance. We apply the word to a cannon, a mortar, or a musket. Large guns are called battering pieces; smaller guns are called field pieces.
10. In heraldry, an ordinary or charge. The fess, the bend, the pale, the bar, the cross, the saltier, the chevron are called honorable pieces.
11. In ridicule or contempt. A piece of a lawyer is a smatterer.
12. A castle; a building. [Not in use.]
A-piece, to each; as, he paid the men a dollar a-piece.
Of a piece, like; of the same sort, as if taken from the same whole. They seemed all of a piece. Sometimes followed by with. The poet must be of a piece with the spectators to gain reputation.
PIECE, v.t. To enlarge or mend by the addition of a piece; to patch; as, to piece a garment; to piece the time.
To piece out, to extend or enlarge by addition of a piece or pieces.
PIECE, v.i. To unite by coalescence of parts; to be compacted, as parts into a whole.