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

setback

play
noun set·back \ˈset-ˌbak\

Simple Definition of setback

  • : a problem that makes progress more difficult or success less likely

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of setback

  1. 1 :  a checking of progress

  2. 2 :  defeat, reverse

  3. 3 :  4pitch 7

  4. 4 :  a placing of a face of a building on a line some distance to the rear of the building line or of the wall below; also :  the area produced by a setback

  5. 5 :  automatic scheduled adjustment to a lower temperature setting of a thermostat

  6. 6 :  the distance of a structure or other feature (as a well or septic system) from the property line or other feature

Examples of setback in a sentence

  1. Despite some early setbacks, they eventually became a successful company.

  2. <the colonists persevered despite suffering setbacks that would have discouraged lesser souls>



1674

First Known Use of setback

1674


SETBACK Defined for Kids

setback

play
noun set·back \ˈset-ˌbak\

Definition of setback for Students

  1. :  a slowing of progress :  a temporary defeat <Despite several setbacks we finished on schedule.>





Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to depart quickly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

accomodate acommadate acommodate accommodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ