1. by adding or doing one piece at a time; gradually.
I acquired my collection piecemeal.
2. done or made one piece at a time.
The government promised reform but we have seen only piecemeal progress.
Word History: The “meal” in “piecemeal” is the same word we use for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Originally, in Old English, “meal,” then spelled “mael,” meant “at a particular time” or “the food served (at a particular time).” This old meaning survives in the word “piecemeal,” which means “one piece at a time.”