Piece of eight
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:

  • piece of eight — n. the obsolete Spanish and Spanish American dollar, equal to eight reals …   English World dictionary

  • piece of eight — piece′ of eight′ n. num peso 3) • Etymology: 1600–10 …   From formal English to slang

  • piece of eight — noun an old silver Spanish coin; worth 8 reales • Hypernyms: ↑coin * * * : an old Spanish peso of eight reals * * * peso (def. 4). [1600 10] * * * piece of eight An old Spanish coin worth eight reals • • • Main Entry: ↑eight …   Useful english dictionary

  • piece of eight — noun (plural pieces of eight) historical a Spanish dollar, equivalent to eight reals …   English new terms dictionary

  • piece of eight — Date: 1610 an old Spanish peso of eight reals …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • piece of eight — noun An historical English term for peso, a silver coin, that was minted in Spain from the end of 15th century, equal to eight reales (hence the name). Syn: dollar, peso, piastre …   Wiktionary

  • piece of eight — noun the old Spanish dollar or peso, of the value of 8 reals …   Australian English dictionary

  • piece of eight — peso (def. 4). [1600 10] * * * …   Universalium

  • 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

  • A Piece of the Action (Star Trek) — NOTOC ST episode name = A Piece of the Action Kirk and Spock face off with mobsters series = TOS ep num = 46 prod num = 049 remas. num = 28 date = January 12, 1968 writer = David P. Harmon Gene L. Coon director = James Komack guest = Anthony… …   Wikipedia

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