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piece of work

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English

Noun

Singular
piece of work

Plural
pieces of work

piece of work (pieces of work)
  1. A product or manufactured article, especially an item of art or craft.
    • 1996, David Ansen "The Killer And The Nun (film review)," Newsweek, 8 Jan.,
      “Dead Man Walking” is a powerful and intelligent piece of work.
  2. (idiomatic, Template loop detected: Template:context 1) A person who has a strong and unusual personality, especially one with seriously unpleasant character flaws (a nasty piece of work).
    • 1991, "Music: The Ballads Of Shirley Horn," Newsweek, 29 Apr.,
      She built a reputation as a piece of work; if she didn't like a crowd, sometimes she'd walk off stage in midset and call a cab home.
    • 2007, Elizabeth Keenan, "Australia's New Order," Time, 25 Nov.,
      Known as Pixie for his fresh looks, and Dr Death for his cold stare of disapproval, Rudd was said to have few friends in Canberra. Former Labor leaders Paul Keating and Mark Latham described him, respectively, as "a menace" and "a terrible piece of work".

References

  • Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989.

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