Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


He was sitting on his bed, trying to piece together facts about himself.

Julia then began to piece together as well as she could the torn fragments.

I began to piece together rumours I had heard but never credited.

I tried to collect329 my wits to piece together this mystery.

Anybody with half an eye, I thought, could piece together what had happened.

From what we were able to piece together, you deliberately followed them.

Well, could you piece together the fragments of all you dreamt last night?

There ain't no hurry—we're goin' travel quite a piece together.

Her brain throbbed as she endeavoured to piece together the things she had just heard.

We land, piece together our report, and count the bullet-holes on the machine.


c.1200, "fixed amount, measure, portion," from Old French piece "piece, bit portion; item; coin" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *pettia, probably from Gaulish *pettsi (cf. Welsh peth "thing," Breton pez "piece, a little"), perhaps from an Old Celtic base *kwezd-i-, from PIE root *kwezd- "a part, piece" (cf. Russian chast' "part"). Related: Pieces.

Sense of "portable firearm" first recorded 1580s; that of "chessman" is from 1560s. Meaning "person regarded as a sex object" is first recorded 1785 (cf. piece of ass, human beings colloquially called piece of flesh from 1590s; cf. also Latin scortum "bimbo, anyone available for a price," literally "skin"). Meaning "a portion of a distance" is from 1610s; that of "literary composition" dates from 1530s. Piece of (one's) mind is from 1570s. Piece of work "remarkable person" echoes Hamlet. Piece as "a coin" is attested in English from 1570s, hence Piece of eight, old name for the Spanish dollar (c.1600) of the value of 8 reals.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.