Definition of set piece in US English:

set piece


  • 1A self-contained passage or section of a novel, play, film, or piece of music arranged in an elaborate or conventional pattern for maximum effect.

    ‘the film lurches from one comic set piece to another’
    • ‘The set pieces and special effects are superb, again because of Jackson's unusual approach.’
    • ‘These comic set pieces sweeten the icing that coats Layer Cake's underlying darkness.’
    • ‘For starters, most of the antislavery content dropped out of the stage shows as producers concentrated on elaborate set pieces that could entertain or enthrall audiences.’
    • ‘This isn't an overstuffed film of sumptuously nostalgic moments and set pieces.’
    • ‘The monochrome set provides a bold and striking aesthetic for the cast to work within, and the opening set piece, featuring the chorus hidden behind white masks, is a powerful, uncompromising statement of intent.’
    • ‘With the exception of one great set piece, this middle section of the film feels a little dull.’
    • ‘It looks nice, plays well and has some great set pieces with the music placed to them perfectly.’
    • ‘It's full of some extremely good set pieces and effects.’
    • ‘These films consisted of a series of music hall acts and slapstick set pieces, loosely linked by very limited narratives.’
    • ‘This is a movie of low-budget set pieces, and in this regard, Cox has done a great deal with very little means.’
    • ‘The second part contains two of the film's funniest set pieces.’
    • ‘The jovial star is upset at the way special effects and set pieces have taken a precedence over plot or character, and feels that perhaps the producers are now seeking to replace him with a fresher, younger actor.’
    • ‘This film has unforgettable set pieces that actually build to something.’
    • ‘The remainder of the murders are set pieces, built on elaborate contraptions and ridiculously fun set-ups.’
    • ‘Musical set pieces are more integrated into the action, and the focus is kept tightly on the Gordon-Pandey relationship.’
    • ‘By using plots that we are all familiar with, Hess is able to move seamlessly from silly set piece to silly set piece.’
    • ‘It seemed like he attempted to address it in Minority Report, but there was something overwhelming in that film's set pieces.’
    • ‘Spielberg wastes precious little time in establishing the scenario and then packs the film with awe-inspiring set pieces that look devastatingly authentic.’
    • ‘Thus the great set piece of the novel is neither a massacre, nor a military slaughter, nor a trial and execution, but a providential visitation of the plague.’
    • ‘Soderbergh's film makes one major change to the Solaris book of rules which allows a new twist to be added but also rules out two of the original film's set pieces.’
    1. 1.1 A formal and carefully structured speech.
      • ‘The real shift of policy then comes in a big set-piece speech.’
      • ‘There's a fair bit of humour this time round, in between the bouts of violence and the various set-piece speeches Tarantino hands his characters.’
      • ‘Presumably the Turks were either waiting patiently for this lengthy speech to finish before starting the battle, or were enjoying a set-piece speech of their own.’
      • ‘He admitted the set-piece speech wasn't his forte, pointing out his greater ability in TV interviews and off-the-cuff speeches, but he was never to gain the upper hand again.’
      • ‘It was a set-piece speech, the first up in the parliamentary year.’
  • 2British A carefully organized and practiced move in a team game by which the ball is returned to play, as at a scrum in rugby or a free kick in soccer.

    • ‘But it's impossible to play rugby without a set piece and Hadden admitted as much: ‘Our scrummage didn't front up on Saturday’.’
    • ‘Neither set-piece forces Boumnijel to work, but the pressure is building.’
    • ‘Another set-piece saw Stoke grab their fifth and final goal for the night when Iwelumo's presence seemed to unease the City defence at Risom's free-kick.’
    • ‘Shortly before half-time Ribblesdale increased the tempo, with depletion of the Cumbrian set-piece allowing more secure possession and also a more stable scrum.’
    • ‘With a third set-piece similar to Elliott's previous two efforts, Steven Hammell dispatched another commendable drive wide of the post.’


set piece

/ˈsɛt ˌpis//ˈset ˌpēs/