Definition of piecemeal in English:


adjective & adverb

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

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