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

Keep scrolling for more

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

After they had each been shot in the head, Martine Bernard’s body was mutilated and the body of her father, Roosevelt Bernard, 68, was set on fire, according to a joint investigation by the Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale police departments. Linda Trischitta,, "Grand jury indicts man on murder charge in death of his unborn child," 4 July 2018 On a recent morning, Wood collected nine iguanas from cage traps set on a poop-speckled canal dock behind a condominium in North Miami Beach. Linda Robertson, miamiherald, "South Florida is suffering from an iguana infestation. A solution? Think barbecue.," 11 July 2018 For years, Full House star John Stamos has had his heart set on finding the right partner and starting a family. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "John Stamos and His Wife Caitlin McHugh's Love Story Will Make Even the Cynics Swoon," 4 July 2018 She and his biological father (Gary Smiley) band together to save him from the sinister paternal figure who is dead set on imprisoning the boy in a gilded cage of his own. Dan Jakes, Chicago Reader, "Pink Orchids and The Green Bay Tree look back at the bad old days of 20th-century queer life," 20 June 2018 Jewison had his heart set on filming in Chicago, but only shot there for a couple of weeks. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "When Hollywood went looking for old Chicago and found it (sort of) in Milwaukee," 19 June 2018 The department posted photos of the two with Elmo before the doll set on duty. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Elmo doll given to New York police officer by girl, 3, so he wouldn't 'work alone'," 19 June 2018 Before his time’s up in January, Brown’s dead-set on winning a battle over the fate of America., "Governor Moonbeam's Got One Last Fight Against Trump Left in Him," 1 May 2018 The loss was interpreted as a major wake-up call for a party that was dead-set on putting tax cuts front and center. Tara Golshan, Vox, "If taxes aren’t working, will desperate Republicans keep turning to race-based attacks?," 6 Apr. 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.

See More

First Known Use of set on


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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about set on

Statistics for set on

Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for set on

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on set on

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).


by word of mouth

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!