set piece

noun

plural set pieces
1
a
: 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
set-piece adjective

Example Sentences

a movie with some lovely set pieces She scored with a set piece.
Recent Examples on the Web This time, Spencer Colwell sent a set piece near the goal and Twichell headed it in for his 19th goal of the season, tying the season program record. Matt Doherty, BostonGlobe.com, 10 Nov. 2022 The music cuts out for a comedic set piece in which Swift’s fictional kids have a meltdown over being left out of their mother’s will. Zack Sharf, Variety, 21 Oct. 2022 In the 23rd minute, a set piece from Sam Coffey was a hair too far for the sprinting Sinclair and Kelli Hubly, who were both wide open. oregonlive, 25 Sep. 2022 But the lead lasted less than two minutes before Elliott evened the score again, heading in a Wagner cross off a set piece. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 5 Nov. 2022 The strangest, most bewildering performance dominates the film’s grandest set piece, which unfolds in Omnipotence City, the colossal hall of the gods where the boss of them all, Zeus (Russell Crowe), holds forth. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 13 July 2022 On Monday, the events will culminate with Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral, the first since that of Winston Churchill in 1965 and a gathering shaping up as one of the biggest diplomatic set piece events in British history. WSJ, 18 Sep. 2022 Angel City’s second goal came on a set piece that saw midfielder Roccaro clean up a chance from inside the box to score. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 8 Aug. 2022 The movie’s big set piece is an extended sexting scene that’s avert-your-eyes gruesome. Mark Feeney, BostonGlobe.com, 3 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of set piece was in 1834

Dictionary Entries Near set piece

Cite this Entry

“Set piece.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/set%20piece. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

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