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 Lusher took a 3-1 lead on an own goal deflection off a set piece in the 53rd minute, but the Falcons responded three minutes later. Joseph Halm,, "Boys soccer: Lusher uses set pieces to win battle of unbeatens over Ben Franklin," 12 Dec. 2020 Ryan Lisa and the Toulouse-Lautrec puppet appear in the final set piece inside Judson Memorial Church, where the artist meets his maker by entering one of his own paintings. Washington Post, "Looking from the outside in, ‘Voyeur’ reimagines the life of Toulouse-Lautrec," 19 Nov. 2020 Gil assisted the opening set piece goal against Philadelphia. Julia Poe,, "Underdogs Orlando City, New England face off in playoff match," 28 Nov. 2020 In her final anonymous set piece, Wilkerson describes meeting a Brahmin in India who arrives at an awakening about the injustice of caste and decides to shed the sacred thread bestowed on Brahmin boys during their rite of passage into adolescence. Gaiutra Bahadur, The New Republic, "Is America Trapped in a Caste System?," 25 Nov. 2020 Anytime Lusher was within 20 yards of the box, Kriek was able to generate a set piece with his throw-ins. Joseph Halm,, "Lusher scores signature win against 3-time reigning state soccer champion Holy Cross," 23 Nov. 2020 The first one was off a set piece, and Juarez said goalkeeper Andrew Putna could have taken a hop before his dive to generate more power rather than dive from his spot. Alex Vejar, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Three Points: RSL’s entire season in one sequence, Glad at right back, and a brief look ahead," 2 Nov. 2020 This was a political set piece meant to convey something far more than mere performance of a duty. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "Amy Coney Barrett took her bows and promised to be independent. The president reveled in the applause.," 27 Oct. 2020 Gonzalez Pirez scored the decisive tally off a Lewis Morgan corner kick to seal the win for Inter Miami for their second goal off a set piece of the season and their first off a corner kick. Khobi Price,, "Leandro Gonzalez Pirez’s game-winning goal vs. Orlando City lifts Inter Miami above playoff line," 24 Oct. 2020

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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Last Updated

14 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Set piece.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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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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