Pièce de résistance
is a French
term (circa 1839
), 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.
- e.g. – Even with a diverse movie and television portfolio, Burnett's pièce de résistance will likely forever be The Carol Burnett Show.
Originally, the pièce de résistance was the most substantial dish in a meal, but now the term generally refers to quality, not quantity.