Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

set off

verb

Definition of set off

  • transitive verb
    1. 1a :  to put in relief :  show up by contrastb :  adorn, embellishc :  to set apart :  make distinct or outstanding

    2. 2a :  offset, compensate <more variety in the Lancashire weather to set off its most disagreeable phases — Geographical Journal>b :  to make a setoff of <the respective totals shall be set off against one another — O. R. Hobson>

    3. 3a :  to set in motion :  cause to beginb :  to cause to explode

    4. 4 :  to measure off on a surface

    5. intransitive verb
    6. :  to start out on a course or a journey <set off for home>



    Circa 1598

    First Known Use of set off

    circa 1598



    Seen and Heard

    What made you want to look up set off? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

    WORD OF THE DAY

    February 9, 2016

    marked by high spirits and laughter

    Get Word of the Day daily email!

    WORD GAMES

    Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

    image1037863653

    Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

    kittly-benders duvet spindrift pince-nez
    Name That Thing

    10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    SCRABBLE® Sprint

    Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

    TAKE THE QUIZ