Of a piece
Piece Piece, n. [OE. pece, F. pi[`e]ce, LL. pecia, petia, petium, probably of Celtic origin; cf. W. peth a thing, a part, portion, a little, Armor. pez, Gael. & Ir. cuid part, share. Cf. {Petty}.] 1. A fragment or part of anything separated from the whole, in any manner, as by cutting, splitting, breaking, or tearing; a part; a portion; as, a piece of sugar; to break in pieces. [1913 Webster]

Bring it out piece by piece. --Ezek. xxiv. 6. [1913 Webster]

2. A definite portion or quantity, as of goods or work; as, a piece of broadcloth; a piece of wall paper. [1913 Webster]

3. Any one thing conceived of as apart from other things of the same kind; an individual article; a distinct single effort of a series; a definite performance; especially: (a) A literary or artistic composition; as, a piece of poetry, music, or statuary. (b) A musket, gun, or cannon; as, a battery of six pieces; a following piece. (c) A coin; as, a sixpenny piece; -- formerly applied specifically to an English gold coin worth 22 shillings. (d) A fact; an item; as, a piece of news; a piece of knowledge. [1913 Webster]

4. An individual; -- applied to a person as being of a certain nature or quality; often, but not always, used slightingly or in contempt. ``If I had not been a piece of a logician before I came to him.'' --Sir P. Sidney. [1913 Webster]

Thy mother was a piece of virtue. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

His own spirit is as unsettled a piece as there is in all the world. --Coleridge. [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster]

5. (Chess) One of the superior men, distinguished from a pawn. [1913 Webster]

6. A castle; a fortified building. [Obs.] --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

{Of a piece}, of the same sort, as if taken from the same whole; like; -- sometimes followed by with. --Dryden.

{Piece of eight}, the Spanish piaster, formerly divided into eight reals.

{To give a piece of one's mind to}, to speak plainly, bluntly, or severely to (another). --Thackeray.

{Piece broker}, one who buys shreds and remnants of cloth to sell again.

{Piece goods}, goods usually sold by pieces or fixed portions, as shirtings, calicoes, sheetings, and the like. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • of a piece — {adj. phr.} Of the same kind; in line. Usually used with with . * /His quitting the job is of a piece with his dropping out of school./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

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  • of a piece — phrasal alike, consistent …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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  • a piece of virtu — Virtu Vir*tu (?; 277), n. [It. virt[ u] virtue, excellence, from L. virtus. See {Virtue}.] A love of the fine arts; a taste for curiosities. J. Spence. [1913 Webster] {An article of virtu}, or {a piece of virtu}, an object of art or antiquity; a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A piece of bric-a-brac — Bric a brac Bric a brac , n. [F.] Miscellaneous curiosities and works of decorative art, considered collectively. [1913 Webster] {A piece of bric a brac}, any curious or antique article of virtu, as a piece of antiquated furniture or metal work,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To give a piece of one's mind to — Piece Piece, n. [OE. pece, F. pi[ e]ce, LL. pecia, petia, petium, probably of Celtic origin; cf. W. peth a thing, a part, portion, a little, Armor. pez, Gael. & Ir. cuid part, share. Cf. {Petty}.] 1. A fragment or part of anything separated from… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Key of a country — Key Key (k[=e]), n. [OE. keye, key, kay, AS. c[ae]g.] 1. An instrument by means of which the bolt of a lock is shot or drawn; usually, a removable metal instrument fitted to the mechanism of a particular lock and operated by turning in its place …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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