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 Medway’s first-half goal came off a beautiful set piece as Matt Kaplan let a free kick go from about 40 yards out., "Their good fortune paid off in the 93rd minute, when a phenomenal effort by Cam Carpenter resulted in the winning goal in the Mustangs’ 2-1 double-overtime win over the Sailors.," 14 Nov. 2019 The fight sequences are exquisitely choreographed, including a breathtaking set piece featuring deadly umbrellas. Joyce Bautista Ferrari, Marie Claire, "The Best New Action Movies to Get You Fired Up," 15 Oct. 2019 Last week’s dramatic set piece, the decision by Luxembourg’s prime minister to continue with a press conference next to an empty podium and a British flag, after Johnson had decided not to attend due to nearby protesters, almost certainly backfired. John Authers | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Brexit Comedy of Errors Includes a Resilient Pound," 26 Sep. 2019 Gray has a gift for shrinking massive set pieces and enlarging private dramas. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: A space odyssey with Brad Pitt in ‘Ad Astra’," 18 Sep. 2019 Numerous platforming set piece areas are also built around sliding down slopes, sometimes on muddy hillsides, sometimes in icy caves. Evan Lewis,, "Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order," 15 Nov. 2019 The Knights took two set piece opportunities about a minute apart — the first was shot too high over the goal, and the second was pushed out to midfield by La Plata’s defense. Megan Woodward,, "Boys Soccer: Grasso’s early goal lifts Century past La Plata for 2A state championship," 14 Nov. 2019 When the Rams had a set piece opportunity, the Tigers cleared the ball quickly from their zone. cleveland, "Chagrin Falls girls soccer denied in 1-0 OT state semifinal loss to Mansfield Madison," 6 Nov. 2019 Becker’s goal came on a set piece from about 30 yards out. Gregg Voss,, "Boys soccer notebook: Hinsdale Central, York fall in 3A sectional finals," 2 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for set piece

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The first known use of set piece was in 1834

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Statistics for set piece

Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Set piece.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 7 December 2019.

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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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