set piece

plural set pieces

Definition of set piece

1a : a composition (as in literature, art, or music) executed in a fixed or ideal form often with studied artistry and brilliant effect
b : a scene, depiction, speech, or event that is obviously designed to have an imposing effect
2 : a realistic piece of stage scenery standing by itself
3 : a precisely planned and conducted military operation an offensive set piece that caught the enemy off guard
4 sports : a carefully planned sequence of movements performed by the members of a team (as in soccer) A set piece can be used on either a direct or indirect type of [free] kick, providing one of the few times during the game that a team can execute something that it may have spent hours practicing.— Doug Roberson

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Other Words from set piece

set-piece \ ˈset-​ˌpēs How to pronounce set-piece (audio) \ adjective

Examples of set piece in a Sentence

a movie with some lovely set pieces She scored with a set piece.

Recent Examples on the Web

The show will take place over the World Showcase lagoon and include floating set pieces, choreographed fountains, pyrotechnics, and more. Valerie Marino, Condé Nast Traveler, "All The Changes Coming to Disney Next Year, From the Avengers Campus to an Epcot Redesign," 27 Aug. 2019 Unlike Game of Thrones, which forced HBO to spend record figures on elaborate special effects and massive set pieces, The Morning Show costs so much because of the people involved in it. Sangeeta Singh-kurtz, Quartz, "Apple’s “The Morning Show” costs more per episode than “Game of Thrones”," 20 Aug. 2019 Whenever there's a set piece though, don't be surprised to see the veteran up inside the box and ready to strike., "WWC Semi-Final: Two Players to Look Out for as the Lionesses Meet the USWNT," 2 July 2019 Even rarer is blockbuster horror, those films with budgets of $50 million or more and set pieces to rival any Hollywood superhero production. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "'It: Chapter Two' and the Weight of Expectations," 7 Sep. 2019 Still, anyone vaguely familiar with the story knows where this is heading, and Muschietti and screenwriter Gary Dauberman don't make the set pieces dazzling enough to merit such a prolonged trip to the finish. Brian Lowry, CNN, "Review: 'It Chapter Two' doesn't know when to close the book," 3 Sep. 2019 Lewandowski nearly leveled the score in the 68th minute, sending a shot off the goal post after a set piece. Jamie Goldberg,, "Portland Thorns settle for disappointing 1-1 draw with Sky Blue FC in controversial game," 4 Aug. 2019 There are world-historical set pieces with Hitler and Mussolini and the generals, but the bulk of the book follows the day-to-day experiences of ordinary people caught in events beyond their control. Aaron Lake Smith, Harper's magazine, "The Trials of Vasily Grossman," 24 June 2019 What follows is a series of darkly comic set pieces punctuated by regular jump scares, a handful of nonplussed goats, and the occasional highly creative homicide. Leah Greenblatt,, "Ready or Not offers splattery black comedy with real socio-political bite," 20 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'set piece.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of set piece

1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Dictionary Entries near set piece


Seto ware

set pattern

set piece

set pin

set point

set pot

Statistics for set piece

Last Updated

8 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for set piece

The first known use of set piece was in 1834

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More Definitions for set piece

set piece


English Language Learners Definition of set piece

: a scene in a movie or play, an image in a painting, a piece of music, etc., that has a familiar style or pattern and that creates a particular and usually dramatic effect
chiefly British : a carefully planned and performed group of movements in sports

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with set piece

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