set on


Definition of set on

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : attack
2a obsolete : promote
b : to urge (an animal, such as a dog) to attack or pursue
c : to incite to action : instigate
d : to set to work


biographical name (1)
Se·​ton | \ ˈsē-tᵊn \

Definition of Seton (Entry 2 of 3)

Saint Elizabeth Ann 1774–1821 Mother Seton née Bayley American religious leader


biographical name (2)

Definition of Seton (Entry 3 of 3)

Ernest Thompson 1860–1946 originally surname Thompson American (English-born) writer and illustrator

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Examples of set on in a Sentence


without warning, bandits would set on unwary merchants as they traveled along the Silk Road

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Protesters built a barricade that was halfway set on fire as clashes erupted between demonstrators and the French riot police during a protest in Paris on Saturday. Nick Kostov, WSJ, "France’s ‘Yellow Vests’ Show Staying Power," 6 Jan. 2019 Wochit The tiny Chihuahua mix that had fought for her life after being doused in gasoline and set on fire died Sunday, officials said. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "Tucson dog goes into cardiac arrest, dies days after being set on fire," 20 May 2018 Another note on the weight: Keep it light, says Mansour, who recommends starting with 5 pounds, and keeping a lighter set on hand in case that becomes too heavy. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Why Sara Sampaio's Dumbbell Raise Exercise Is Great for Strengthening Your Shoulders," 23 July 2018 Isner took that set on his third chance, when Anderson flubbed a forehand. Howard Fendrich,, "Kevin Anderson outlasts John Isner in second-longest match in Wimbledon history," 13 July 2018 Williams claimed the first set on a fourth set point in the 12th game when Mladenovic double-faulted. Sandra Harwitt, USA TODAY, "Serena Williams' quest for history rolls on with third round win at Wimbledon," 6 July 2018 The premium is added to the global price set on the London Metal Exchange to reflect the unique factors that influence the cost of aluminum in North America: supply, demand, freight costs, handling fees and other costs — including tariffs. Matt Phillips, New York Times, "As Trade Fight Escalates, Beer Makers Fret Over the Cost of Aluminum," 18 June 2018 Martial's agent, Philippe Lamboley, sensationally revealed the forward had his heart set on leaving the Premier League club on Wednesday due to feeling a lack of faith from the Red Devils., "Manchester United Rule Out Anthony Martial Exit This Summer Amid Reports of Desire to Leave," 14 June 2018 No one worried about putting sets on the stage or having a pit where an orchestra could play. David Lyman,, "Behind the curtain: Cincinnati Opera's back at Music Hall with a more functional backstage," 7 June 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for set on

Last Updated

10 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for set on

The first known use of set on was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for set on


se·​ton | \ ˈsēt-ᵊn \

Medical Definition of seton

: one or more threads or horsehairs or a strip of linen introduced beneath the skin by a knife or needle to provide drainage or formerly to produce or prolong inflammation

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Comments on set on

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


a servile follower or underling

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