setoff

noun
set·​off | \ ˈset-ˌȯf How to pronounce setoff (audio) \

Definition of setoff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something that is set off against another thing:
2 : the reduction or discharge of a debt or claim by setting against it a distinct claim in favor of the debtor or party who is the object of the first claim (as in a lawsuit) also : the offsetting claim itself

set off

verb
set off; setting off; sets off

Definition of set off (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to put in relief : show up by contrast
c : to set apart : make distinct or outstanding
2a : offset, compensate more variety in the Lancashire weather to set off its most disagreeable phasesGeog. Jour.
b : to make a setoff of the respective totals shall be set off against one another— O. R. Hobson
3a : to set in motion : cause to begin
b : to cause to explode
4 : to measure off on a surface

intransitive verb

: to start out on a course or a journey set off for home

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Examples of setoff in a Sentence

Noun

the architect used stone carvings as setoffs for the building's marble facing

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But even in its current state, the announcement has set off a firestorm of criticism within the scientific and ethics communities. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Reports out of China suggest first human gene-edited babies have been born," 26 Nov. 2018 The Cabin in the Woods (2012) Scream set off a wave of genre-savvy meta-horror movies, but none of its other followers so aptly skewered horror as Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s horror-comedy The Cabin in the Woods. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "The new horror film canon (and where to stream it)," 1 Nov. 2018 But the fireworks were dutifully set off on July 5, a 35-minute display comprising 300 shells and costing $500. John Kelly, Washington Post, "Things have been exploding over D.C. for decades — but not always on the 4th," 3 July 2018 But its latest remarks on the subject have set off a new wave of concerns. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Facebook has 'no plans' to listen in on your conversations (for now), but the creepy stories mount," 23 June 2018 The symptoms are the same regardless of whether allergies or something else set off your asthma, but coughing tends to be the most common one, Purvi Parikh, M.D., an allergist and immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network, tells SELF. Korin Miller, SELF, "5 Facts About Allergic Asthma, Which Is Just the Worst," 11 May 2018 Those migrants made that long desert exodus for a number of reasons: some to apply for asylum in Mexico or in the U.S., some to escape violence, while others set off in hopes of finding greater opportunities elsewhere. Vogue, "A New Fashion Collaboration Is Pushing for Positive Change at the U.S.-Mexico Border," 22 Mar. 2019 Markle wore a dress with an off-the-shoulder neckline to Queen Elizabeth's Trooping of the Colour ceremony in June, setting off a media firestorm. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Every Single Time Meghan Markle's Broken Royal Protocol," 16 July 2018 The militant group’s defeat sets the stage for President Donald Trump to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from northern Syria, a drawdown that’s expected to set off a race to fill the vacuum. Sarah El Deeb, The Seattle Times, "Syria’s Assad: Last man standing amid new Arab uprisings," 13 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'setoff.' 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 setoff

Noun

1621, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Dictionary Entries near setoff

setnet

set nut

set off

setoff

set-off man

setoff sheet

set on

Statistics for setoff

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for setoff

The first known use of setoff was circa 1598

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More Definitions for setoff

set-off

noun
\ ˈset-ˌȯf\

Legal Definition of set-off

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the reduction or discharge of a debt by setting against it a claim in favor of the debtor specifically : the reduction or discharge of a party's debt or claim by an assertion of another claim arising out of another transaction or cause of action against the other party
2a : a right to seek reduction or discharge of a debt or claim by countering a party's claim with an independent claim
b : a counterclaim made by a defendant against a plaintiff for reduction or discharge of a debt by reason of an independent debt owed by the plaintiff to the defendant — compare recoupment sense 2

set off

transitive verb

Legal Definition of set off (Entry 2 of 2)

: to reduce or discharge by set-off : offset

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More from Merriam-Webster on setoff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with setoff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for setoff

Nglish: Translation of setoff for Spanish Speakers

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