set (something or someone) against

phrasal verb

Definition of set (something or someone) against 

1 : to put (something) in a place or position so that it is touching (something else) He set the ladder against the wall.

2 : to cause the action of (a film, story, etc.) to happen in (a certain place or during a certain time) often used as be set against The story is set against (the backdrop of) the Second World War.

3 : to compare (something) to (something else) Let's set the advantages against the disadvantages. often used as (be) set against The fines were small when set against the company's huge annual profits.

4 British : to list (something) as an expense in order to reduce (income for which tax is due) You can set your mortgage payments against your rental income.

5 : to cause (someone) to disagree with or oppose (someone) The incident set brother against brother.

Learn More about set (something or someone) against

Share set (something or someone) against

Resources for set (something or someone) against

Statistics for set (something or someone) against

Look-up Popularity

Comments on set (something or someone) against

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


required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!