in·​set | \ ˈin-ˌset How to pronounce inset (audio) \

Definition of inset

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a place where something flows in : channel
b : a setting or flowing in
2 : something that is inset: such as
a : a small graphic representation (such as a map or picture) set within a larger one
b : a piece of cloth set into a garment (as for decoration)
c : a part or section of a utensil that fits into an outer part


in·​set | \ ˈin-ˌset How to pronounce inset (audio) , in-ˈset \
inset or insetted; insetting

Definition of inset (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : set in especially : to insert within something else in such a way as to be visible
2 : to provide with an inset

Examples of inset in a Sentence

Noun The floor is decorated with an inset of marble tiles. velvet dresses with silk insets Verb inset a map in a larger map
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The home is entered through a deep inset archway with a Juliet balcony above. Lauren Beale, Forbes, 12 Oct. 2021 At the center of the wall, an inset holds two-dozen dozen wine bottles. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, 22 Sep. 2021 The china room includes Carrera marble countertops, an antique mirror inset window, herringbone wood flooring and glass-insert cabinet doors. Dallas News, 21 Aug. 2021 The 23-year-old second lieutenant was intrigued by the book’s black cover, with an inset image of a desert landscape next to the title and the silhouettes of two robed figures walking across the sand. Andy Greenberg, Wired, 28 Sep. 2021 The inset show an example of the mapping detail captured on the wildfire. James Conca, Forbes, 31 Aug. 2021 The coast of Brittany is scenic and rugged, with craggy rocks and cliffs, inset here and there with beaches, some of which are quite small. Washington Post, 3 Sep. 2021 The first is a hanging mobile that has reflective mirrors placed inset into stars. Jeffrey Van Camp, Wired, 25 Aug. 2021 The cabinet with the wrought iron Singer inset is very attractive. Brenda Yenke, cleveland, 5 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb On the rare occasions in the past that the Jazz have been without both members of their starting backcourt, Snyder has typically opted to inset Joe Ingles and sixth-man extraordinaire Jordan Clarkson instead. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, 28 Apr. 2021 My television displayed a closeup of Emily’s phone showing the boss’s face, inset with an image of Emily’s face—three layers of screens at once. Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, 16 Nov. 2020 Rarely do collectors get a chance at 2-for-1, but this portrait of an unknown young man being sold by New York property magnate Sheldon Solow has been inset with a small, round 14th-century panel painting of a saint. Kelly Crow, WSJ, 30 Sep. 2020 Yoder pays dearly for takeout tins that are inset with a gold-hued lining. Nick Rallo, Dallas News, 25 Sep. 2020 Non-tension rods that are inset are useful for long segments of windows, where an over-window rod would cover too much space. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, 4 Aug. 2020 The statue of Hanuman Murti (inset above), god of courage, was a gift from a swami in the motherland to consecrate Sri Dattatreya Yoga Centre in 2003. Omar Mouallem, WSJ, 17 Jan. 2020 That filter, sometimes inset with light zones that turn on and off, increases the contrast and vividness of the image. NBC News, 28 Nov. 2019 Hide the Hood The blowers were inset into the ceiling for a streamlined look, and to maximize views. House Beautiful, 22 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inset.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of inset


1559, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1658, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inset.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for inset



English Language Learners Definition of inset

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small map or picture that is shown on or next to a larger map or picture in order to show more detail
: a piece of something that is added to something larger often for decoration



English Language Learners Definition of inset (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put (something) in something larger for decoration, to give information, etc.
: to put something into (something) often for decoration


in·​set | \ ˈin-ˌset How to pronounce inset (audio) \

Kids Definition of inset

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a smaller thing that is inserted into a larger thing The Ohio map has an inset showing Columbus in detail.


inset or insetted; insetting

Kids Definition of inset (Entry 2 of 2)

More from Merriam-Webster on inset

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inset

Nglish: Translation of inset for Spanish Speakers


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