- As an adjective, piecemeal describes something that’s made or done in a series of steps.
- As an adverb, piecemeal means either “step by step” or “in pieces.”
Piecemeal is an adjective and an adverb. Use it to describe things that happen gradually. Just make sure not to misspell it as “peacemeal.” Piecemeal is about pieces, not peace.
What Does Piecemeal Mean?
When you say something is piecemeal, you mean that it was made or done in a series of steps, not all at once. Some of the synonyms for piecemeal might explain the word better: gradual, one piece at a time, piece by piece, bit by bit, or fragmented.
If you want to use piecemeal as an adjective in a sentence, you would do it like this:
You can also use piecemeal to describe actions that are performed gradually. However, when used as an adjective, piecemeal can also mean “apart” or “in pieces”: