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piecemeal (adj) done or happening piece by piece, not all at the same time.

If a building is completed piecemeal it is built part by part and not the whole of it at one time. If you clear your debt piecemeal, you repay it in small amounts over a long period. A piecemeal job is a job completed over a long period, part by part.

  • The piecemeal construction of the dam has left certain weak parts in it, and the water is leaking through them. By the time the latter parts have been completed the earlier parts have been damaged.
  • His piecemeal job left us thoroughly unsatisfied. Still a large portion of the work is yet to be begun, and the earlier parts are shoddy.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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