Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia.
1. Literally, to assemble or complete something with various pieces, parts, or disparate things. A noun or pronoun can be used between "piece" and "out." She pieced out a dress using the scraps of all her other projects. The map had been ripped to shreds, but we managed to piece it out and see where we needed to go.
2. By extension, to form something cohesive and coherent by finding, adding, or analyzing multiple pieces of information and drawing a conclusion based on what they collectively indicate. A noun or pronoun can be used between "piece" and "out." Federal investigators are experts at piecing crimes out based on the bits of evidence left behind. I had a hard time piecing out Janet's story because it was all so jumbled and confusing.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
piece something out.
1. Lit. to add patches or pieces to something to make it complete. There is not quite enough cloth to make a shirt, but I think I can piece it out with some scraps of a complementary color for the collar. We managed to piece out the material that we needed.
2. Fig. to add missing parts to a story, explanation, or narrative to make it make sense. Before she passed out, she muttered a few things and we were able to piece the whole story out from that. We pieced out the story from the few bits we heard from her.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.