set on

set on; setting on; sets 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 How to pronounce Seton (audio) \

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

Police were already investigating a possible anti-gay bias crime at the Harlem bar after rainbow flags at its entrance were set on fire May 31, a day before the start of the city’s Pride Month celebrations., "Rainbow flag again set on fire at N.Y. gay bar," 8 July 2019 In one scene, a man is doused in gasoline and set on fire. Tim Evans, Indianapolis Star, "Richard Grundy's federal drug trial starts Monday. Here's what you need to know.," 7 July 2019 Scooters are piled into dumpsters, chucked into rivers, thrown through windshields, set on fire and hung from bridge posts like apparatchiks of a deposed regime. Avi Selk, Washington Post, "The death of the sidewalk," 30 June 2019 Getting Crafty Looking for something new to hang over your couch or set on your mantel? Betsy Blumenthal, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Charlotte, N.C. This Summer," 21 June 2019 Slack opened at $38.50 a share on Thursday, a more than 50% increase from its $26 reference price — not to be confused with an IPO price — set on the eve of its market debut. Seth Fiegerman, CNN, "Slack is now worth more than $20 billion," 20 June 2019 The photographer says at least two other vehicles were set on fire., "Official: Semi explodes on I-94 in southeastern Wisconsin," 19 June 2019 But an out-of-control football program was brought to its senses and set on a new course that, hopefully, will prevent anything like that from happening again. Peter Schmuck,, "Schmuck: One year after death of Jordan McNair, Maryland football program must focus on more than winning," 13 June 2019 Remove bread and set on a rack to keep moisture from ruining the crunch. Ann Maloney,, "Dig into the red, ripe Creole Tomato Fest this weekend," 5 June 2019

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

14 Jul 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 How to pronounce seton (audio) \

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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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for set on

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).


to form ideas or theories about something

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