Definition of piecemeal in English:


Pronunciation /ˈpēsˌmēl/ /ˈpisˌmil/

Translate piecemeal into Spanish


  • Characterized by unsystematic partial measures taken over a period of time.

    ‘the village is slowly being killed off by piecemeal development’
    • ‘In comparison, all other tax deduction measures are too piecemeal, and too minimal, in effect.’
    • ‘The Court might seek to change parts of it piecemeal and over a period of time as this would appear to be less provocative towards an elected body.’
    • ‘The inquiry should ask why a piecemeal approach was allowed, and why different sets of stalls are used in tests and on courses.’
    • ‘Some see that as a kind of visionary genius that goes beyond limited piecemeal approaches.’
    • ‘Recently we have seen some good developments but we have also seen some botched piecemeal developments.’
    • ‘So he is forced into a feebly slow, piecemeal approach to an issue where boldness above all is required.’
    • ‘He said a traffic survey of the whole estate was needed rather than taking a piecemeal approach.’
    • ‘The piecemeal approach means that there is some repetition and that the conclusions are necessarily modest.’
    • ‘One major problem of this piecemeal approach is that the source of distortions is obscured.’
    • ‘Despite this the approach seems to be piecemeal and applied only to initiatives at the margins of health policy.’
    • ‘More than six writers took turns hacking at the story-line, which resulted in a rather piecemeal plot.’
    • ‘The script is written in a piecemeal fashion depending on the availability of artistes, both male and female.’
    • ‘The union is against plans to introduce the change to a six-term school year being introduced across the country in a piecemeal way.’
    • ‘They agreed that it demanded a concerted response, not piecemeal action.’
    • ‘For many years, a lot of hard-working people have tried to tackle those problems in a piecemeal fashion.’
    • ‘Because of the high cost and complexity of the project, it's been built piecemeal.’
    • ‘They should not be allowed to do piecemeal work but lay a fresh road.’
    • ‘Otherwise, change through the present client system would only lead to piecemeal change.’
    • ‘He said that the changes to the ministry were being done on a strategic basis and were not piecemeal or temporary.’
    • ‘He believed the entire matter should be put back for one month to prevent the matter being done piecemeal.’


  • In an unsystematic way, through partial measures taken over a period of time.

    ‘many organizations have been built up piecemeal’
    • ‘some can only be had as part of a package, while others can be installed piecemeal’
    a little at a time, piece by piece, bit by bit, gradually, slowly, in stages, in steps, step by step, little by little, by degrees, by fits and starts, in fits and starts, in bits
    View synonyms


Middle English from the noun piece + -meal from Old English mǣlum, in the sense ‘measure, quantity taken at one time’.