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

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR PIECES

They ruled only a few years and then their domains fell to pieces.

What could a heart then do but tear itself to pieces, think-thinking?

Cook until tender, but not so long that it will fall to pieces.

The body of the French squire had been dragged out by them and hacked to pieces.

The bond was delivered to Fox, who tore it up and flung the pieces into the fire.

If this is done, the cauliflower will darken and break into pieces.

On the walls were hung some pieces of tapestry, where there were not bookcases.

For the time at least, Sidney's world had gone to pieces about her.

Her world was in pieces about her, and she felt alone in a wide and empty place.

He tears the document, and throws the pieces about furiously.

WORD ORIGIN

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.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR PIECES

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