set the scene


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set the scene

1. In a narrative work, to establish the setting through description. I'm really impressed with how the author is able to set the scene while simultaneously working in a lot of exposition.
2. Similarly, to describe something so that others can understand or envision it. Let me set the scene for you: I walked into the middle of an all-out food fight and was promptly hit with a plate of spaghetti. So I think I punished those students appropriately.
3. To be the catalyst for something that happens later. Their squabbling at Thanksgiving set the scene for a total screaming match on Christmas. A positive conversation with the CEO today could set the scene for a promotion tomorrow.
See also: scene, set

set the scene

COMMON
1. If you set the scene, you briefly tell people what they need to know about a subject, so that they can understand what is going to happen next. I was writing an article and wanted to set the scene by giving a few details about how widespread the custom was. To visualize this period of his career it is first necessary to set the scene and describe the events leading up to World War 2. Note: You can also use the noun scene-setting. There's a certain amount of scene-setting in the initial chapter.
2. If something sets the scene for an event, it creates the conditions in which that event is likely to happen. Some members feared that Germany might raise its interest rates. That could have set the scene for a confrontation with the US, which is concerned that increases could cut demand for its exports. The first hour's cricket set the scene for a superbly entertaining day as England and South Africa played some of the best cricket ever seen.
See also: scene, set

set the scene

1 describe a place or situation in which something is about to happen. 2 create the conditions for a future event.
See also: scene, set

set the ˈscene/ˈstage (for something)


1 give somebody the information they need in order to understand what comes next: The first few chapters of the book just set the scene.
2 create the conditions in which something can easily happen: His arrival set the scene for another argument.With so many economic and political problems, the stage was set for another war.
See also: scene, set, stage

set the scene

/stage for
To provide the underlying basis for: saber rattling that set the stage for war.
See also: scene, set
References in periodicals archive ?
A theatrical performance by the group will set the scene for guests and their loved ones as they enjoy a 4-course Italian culinary experience with drinks.
Cars similar to those that were on the street at the time were brought in to set the scene.
Pontcysyllte & Llangollen Canal Project Officer Piers Warburton said a range of interactive walks and talks has already set the scene for a programme of educational activities to improve knowledge of wildlife in the region.
Helpful and friendly staff were also mentioned but singled out for particular attention was tunnel guide Fred Carter who delivered "a very interesting commentary of how the tunnel was built, who the men were that carried out the work and a few anecdotes that set the scene well".
Hadidi, accompanied by Majali, is heading Jordan's delegation to the preparatory ministerial meeting in Damascus to set the scene for the Joint Jordanian- Syrian Higher Committee meeting.
These set the scene for the adventure ahead and see Robert Downey Jr playing a gay monk alongside Toby Maguire, and Jack Black farting his way through a parody of your typical Martin Lawrence Lop.
Amey and the Trust brought in sand, a gazebo and an outdoor sound system to help set the scene during "beach week", while patients also had a choice of meals from a special summer menu each day.
For many readers, especially young bookworms, it's the pictures that really set the scene and help capture the imagination.
I feel the crazy layout of it, combined with general bad/impatient driving of customers, combine to set the scene for an accident waiting to happen.
SIR ALEX FERGUSON and Sven Goran Eriksson have become embroiled in a bitter war of words to set the scene for a potentially-explosive Manchester derby.
The election of Robert Menzies in 1949 set the scene for a clash of titanic proportions with the Communist-dominated waterside workers who had won hard-fought battles for improved conditions since the Depression.
Shovels, old black suits, and barbed wire set the scene for a butoh exploration of William Faulkner titled Caddy!
At a session of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators Annual Meeting in Napa, Calif., insurance industry advocates appeared to be in accord on one thing: Such a plan would result in an "administrative nightmare" that could set the scene for lawsuits.
Andre Azoulay, senior advisor to the King of Morocco, set the scene by stating, 'Religion has been misused by the fundamentalists, who have taken over religion and made us hostages.
-- Take the Stage Free Family Night, (entrada gratis de 5 a 8 p.m.); Set the Scene, 9 a.m a 8 p.m.; Animal "Costumes", 9 a.m.