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piéce de résistance
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piéce de résistance
(French)


There would be fresh perch, asparagus, and _la piece de resistance_— first-rate, but quite plain, roast beef, and wines to suit: so much for the eating and drinking.
Leo Tolstoy  --  Anna Karenina
  the best part of something (as in a meal), a showpiece, or highlight
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Notes:
From Wikipedia:

...translated into English literally as "piece of resistance", referring to the best part or feature of something (as in a meal), a showpiece, or highlight. It can be thought of as the portion of a creation which defies (i.e. "resists") orthodox or common conventions and practices, thereby making the whole of the creation unique and special. The phrase gives the sense that the referred-to element is the defining essence of the whole, that part that makes it memorable or gives it its unique character.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi%C3%A8ce_de_r%C3%A9sistance  (retrieved 9/25/08)
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Samples:
  • There would be fresh perch, asparagus, and _la piece de resistance_— first-rate, but quite plain, roast beef, and wines to suit: so much for the eating and drinking.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  Anna Karenina
  • Then they brought in the piece de resistance, a carcass roasted whole and carried by four men.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  Glory Road
  • "But the piece de resistance," he continued, tapping his chest, "is right here.
    Sarah Dessen  --  Along for the Ride
  • Kitty and Levin would be of the party, and that this might not be obtrusively evident, there would be a girl cousin too, and young Shtcherbatsky, and la piece de resistance among the guests—Sergey Koznishev and Alexey Alexandrovitch.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  Anna Karenina
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Associated words [difficulty]:   piéce de résistance [9] , provocateur [6] , carte blanche [8] , noblesse oblige [8] , tête-à-tête [8]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Architecture, Logic & Reasoning, Sports
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