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verb, set·tle \ˈse-təl\

Simple Definition of settle

  • : to end (something, such as an argument) by reaching an agreement

  • : to make a final decision about (something)

  • : to move to a place and make it your home

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of settle

settledsettling play \ˈset-liŋ, ˈse-təl-iŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to place so as to stay

  3. 2a :  to establish in residenceb :  to furnish with inhabitants :  colonize

  4. 3a :  to cause to pack downb :  to clarify by causing dregs or impurities to sink

  5. 4 :  to make quiet or orderly

  6. 5a :  to fix or resolve conclusively <settle the question>b :  to establish or secure permanently <settle the order of royal succession>c :  to conclude (a lawsuit) by agreement between parties usually out of courtd :  to close (as an account) by payment often of less than is due

  7. 6 :  to arrange in a desired position

  8. 7 :  to make or arrange for final disposition of <settled his affairs>

  9. 8 of an animal :  impregnate

  10. intransitive verb
  11. 1 :  to come to rest

  12. 2a :  to sink gradually or to the bottomb :  to become clear by the deposit of sediment or scumc :  to become compact by sinking

  13. 3a :  to become fixed, resolved, or established <a cold settled in his chest>b :  to establish a residence or colony <settled in Wisconsin> —often used with down

  14. 4a :  to become quiet or orderlyb :  to take up an ordered or stable life —often used with down <marry and settle down>

  15. 5a :  to adjust differences or accountsb :  to come to a decision —used with on or upon <settled on a new plan>c :  to conclude a lawsuit by agreement out of court

  16. 6 of an animal :  conceive

settleable play \ˈse-təl-ə-bəl, ˈset-lə-bəl\ adjective
settle for
  1. :  to be content with

settle one's hash
  1. :  to silence or subdue someone by decisive action

settle the stomach
  1. :  to remove or relieve the distress or nausea of indigestion

Examples of settle in a sentence

  1. They were determined to settle the dispute before going home for the day.

  2. The two sides have settled their differences.

  3. We need to settle this question once and for all.

  4. That settles it. I can't take the day off from work, so I'm not going.

  5. His grandparents were immigrants from Germany who settled in Pennsylvania.

  6. He always thought he'd leave the city and settle in the country.

  7. the people who settled the West

Illustration of settle

Origin of settle

Middle English, to seat, bring to rest, come to rest, from Old English setlan, from setl seat

First Known Use: 1515

Synonym Discussion of settle

decide, determine, settle, rule, resolve mean to come or cause to come to a conclusion. decide implies previous consideration of a matter causing doubt, wavering, debate, or controversy <she decided to sell her house>. determine implies fixing the identity, character, scope, or direction of something <determined the cause of the problem>. settle implies a decision reached by someone with power to end all dispute or uncertainty <the dean's decision settled the campus alcohol policy>. rule implies a determination by judicial or administrative authority <the judge ruled that the evidence was inadmissible>. resolve implies an expressed or clear decision or determination to do or refrain from doing something <he resolved to quit smoking>.



noun set·tle

Simple Definition of settle

  • : a long wooden bench with arms, a high solid back, and often with space under the seat which can be used to store things

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of settle

  1. :  a wooden bench with arms, a high solid back, and an enclosed foundation which can be used as a chest

Illustration of settle

Origin of settle

Middle English, place for sitting, seat, chair, from Old English setl; akin to Old High German sezzal seat, Latin sella seat, chair, Old English sittan to sit

First Known Use: 1553

SETTLE Defined for Kids



verb set·tle \ˈse-təl\

Definition of settle for Students


  1. 1 :  to come to rest <Birds settled on a branch.> <Dust settled on the table.>

  2. 2 :  to make a home <I'd like to settle in the country.>

  3. 3 :  to make quiet :  calm <The tea settled my nerves.>

  4. 4 :  decide 1 <It's settled then—we'll each pay our own way.>

  5. 5 :  to place so as to stay <I settled myself in a chair.>

  6. 6 :  to sink gradually to a lower level <The foundations of the house settled.>

  7. 7 :  to sink in a liquid

  8. 8 :  to give attention to <Settle down to work now.>

  9. 9 :  to fix by agreement <They are hoping to settle the case out of court.>

  10. 10 :  to put in order <They settled their affairs.>

  11. 11 :  to complete payment on <Waiter, we're ready to settle our bill.>

  12. 12 :  to bring to an end <They settled their argument.>

  13. 13 :  to take up a stable life <You're not a kid anymore. It's time to settle down.>

  14. 14 :  to be content with <He settled for his second choice.>



noun set·tle

Definition of settle for Students

  1. :  a long wooden bench with arms and a high solid back

Medical Dictionary


verb set·tle \ˈset-əl\

Medical Definition of settle

settled; settling

  1. transitive verb

  2. of an animal :  impregnate 1a

  3. intransitive verb

  4. of an animal :  conceive

Law Dictionary


verb set·tle

Legal Definition of settle


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to resolve conclusively <settle a question of law>

  3. 2 :  to establish or secure permanently <a settled legal principle>

  4. 3 :  close <settle the sale of securities> <settle the estate>

  5. 4 :  to resolve a disagreement about (a court order) <no hearing to consider these objections and to settle the order had been conducted — Saba v. Gray, 314 N.W.2d 597 (1981)>

  6. 5a :  to fix (a price) by mutual agreement b :  to conclude (a lawsuit) by entering into an agreement negotiated by the parties usually out of court c :  to close (as an account) by payment; also :  to close by compromise and payment of less than the full amount claimed or due

  7. intransitive verb
  8. 1 :  to conclude a lawsuit by entering into an agreement <the plaintiff chose to settle out of court>

  9. 2 :  to make a settlement of a transfer of funds

  10. 3 :  to adjust differences or accounts <settled with his creditors>

Seen and Heard

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to dishevel or rumple

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