A Dictionary of the English Language
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Piece (noun)

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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1499

Piece. n.s. [piece, Fr.]

  1. A patch. Ainsworth.

  2. A part of a whole; a fragment.

    Bring it out piece by piece. Ezekiel xxiv. 26.

    The chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded to take him by force. Acts.

    These lesser rocks or great bulky stones, that lie scattered in the sea or upon the land, are they not manifest fragments and pieces of these greater masses. Barnet.

    A man that is in Rome can scarce see an object, that does not call to mind a piece of a Latin poet or historian. Addison.

  3. A part.

    It is accounted a piece of excellent knowledge, to know the laws of the land. Tillotson.

  4. A picture.

    If unnatural, the finest colours are but dawbing, and the piece is a beautiful monster at the best. Dryden.

    Each heav'nly piece unweary'd we compare,
    Match Raphael's grace with thy lov'd Guido's air.
    Pope.

  5. A composition; performance.

    He wrote several pieces, which he did not assume the honour of. Addison.

  6. A single great gun.

    A piece of ord'nance 'gainst it I have plac'd. Shakespeare.

    Many of the ships have brass pieces, whereas every piece at least requires four gunners to attend it. Raleigh's Essays.

    Pyrrhus, with continual battery of great pieces, did batter the mount. Knolles's History of the Turks.

  7. A hand gun.

    When he cometh to experience of service abroad, or is put to a piece or a pike, he maketh as worthy a soldier as any nation he meeteth with. Spenser.

    The ball goes on in the direction of the stick, or of the body of the piece out of which it is shot. Cheyne.

  8. A coin; a single piece of money.

    When once the poet's honour ceases,
    From reason far his transports rove;
    And Boileau, for eight hundred pieces,
    Makes Louis take the wall of Jove.
    Prior.

  9. In ridicule and contempt: as, a piece of a lawyer or smatterer.

  10. A-PIECE. To each.

    I demand, concerning all those creatures that have eyes and ears, whether they might not have had only one eye and one ear a-piece. More's Antidote against Atheism.

  11. Of a Piece with. Like; of the same sort; united; the same with the rest.

    Truth and fiction are so aptly mix'd,
    That all seems uniform and of a piece.
    Roscommon.

    When Jupiter granted petitions, a cockle made request, that his house and his body might be all of a piece. L'Estr.

    My own is of a piece with his, and were he living, they are such as he would have written. Dryden.

    I appeal to my enemies, if I or any other man could have invented one which had been more of a piece, and more depending on the serious part of the design. Dryden.

    Too justly vanish'd from an age like this;
    Now she is gone, the world is of a piece.
    Dryden.

    Nothing but madness can please madmen, and a poet must be of a piece with the spectators, to gain a reputation. Dryden.

Sources: The Bible - Acts (20) · Addison, Joseph (408) · Ainsworth, Robert (56) · Burnet, Thomas (45) · Cheyne, George (26) · Dillon, Wentworth (Roscommon) (31) · Dryden, John (788) · The Bible - Ezekiel (12) · Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 1 (48) · Knolles, Richard (44) · L'Estrange, Roger (131) · More, Henry (28) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Prior, Matthew (162) · Raleigh, Walter (68) · Spenser, Edmund (254) · Tillotson, John (68)

Attributes: French (385) · Noun Substantive (1269)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Piece (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: May 25, 2014. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=17203.


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