set

verb
\ ˈset How to pronounce set (audio) \
set; setting

Definition of set

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to cause to sit : place in or on a seat
2a : to put (a fowl) on eggs to hatch them
b : to put (eggs) for hatching under a fowl or into an incubator
3 : to place (oneself) in position to start running in a race
4a : to place with care or deliberate purpose and with relative stability set a ladder against the wall set a stone on the grave
b : transplant sense 1 set seedlings
c(1) : to make (a trap) ready to catch prey
(2) : to fix (a hook) firmly into the jaw of a fish
d : to put aside (something, such as dough containing yeast) for fermenting
5 : to direct with fixed attention set your mind to it
6a : to cause to assume a specified condition, relation, or occupation slaves were set free set the house on fire
b : to cause the start of set a fire
7a : to appoint or assign to an office or duty
b : post, station
8 : to cause to assume a specified posture or position set the door ajar
9a : to fix as a distinguishing imprint, sign, or appearance the years have set their mark on him
b : affix
c : apply set a match to kindling
10 : to fix or decide on as a time, limit, or regulation : prescribe set a wedding day set the rules for the game
11a : to establish as the highest level or best performance set a record for the half mile
b : to furnish as a pattern or model set an example of generosity
c : to allot as a task setting lessons for the children to work upon at homeManchester Examiner
12a : to adjust (a device and especially a measuring device) to a desired position set the alarm for 7:00 set a thermostat at 68 also : to adjust (something, such as a clock) in conformity with a standard
b : to restore to normal position or connection when dislocated or fractured set a broken bone
c : to spread to the wind set the sails
13a : to put in order for use set a place for a guest
b : to make scenically ready for a performance set the stage
c(1) : to arrange (type) for printing set type by hand
(2) : to put into type or its equivalent (as on film) set the first word in italic
14a : to put a fine edge on by grinding or honing set a razor
b : to bend slightly the tooth points of (a saw) alternately in opposite directions
c : to sink (the head of a nail) below the surface
15 : to fix in a desired position (as by heating or stretching)
16 : to arrange (hair) in a desired style by using implements (such as curlers, rollers, or clips) and gels or lotions
17a : to adorn with something affixed or infixed : stud, dot clear sky set with stars
b : to fix (something, such as a precious stone) in a border of metal : place in a setting
c : to place in a specified literary or dramatic setting a story set in Paris
18a : to hold something in regard or esteem at the rate of sets a great deal by daily exercise
b : to place in a relative rank or category set duty before pleasure
c : to fix at a certain amount set bail at $500
d : value, rate their promises were set at naught
e : to place as an estimate of worth set a high value on life
19 : to place in relation for comparison or balance theory set against practice
20a : to direct to action
b : to incite to attack or antagonism war sets brother against brother
21a : to place by transporting was set ashore on the island
b : to put in motion
c : to put and fix in a direction set our faces toward home once more
d of a dog : to point out the position of (game) by holding a fixed attitude
22 : to defeat (an opponent or a contract) in bridge
23a : to fix firmly : make immobile : give rigid form or condition to set her jaw in determination
b : to make unyielding or obstinate
24 : to cause to become firm or solid set milk for cheese
25 : to cause (fruit or seed) to develop

intransitive verb

1 chiefly dialectal : sit
2 : to be becoming : be suitable : fit the coat sets well
3 : to cover and warm eggs to hatch them
4a : to affect one with or as if with weight the pudding sets heavily on my stomach
b : to place oneself in position in preparation for an action (such as running)
5 of a plant part : to undergo development usually as a result of pollination
6a : to pass below the horizon : go down the sun sets
b : to come to an end this century sets with little mirth— Thomas Fuller
7 : to apply oneself to some activity set to work
8 : to have a specified direction in motion : flow, tend the wind was setting from Pine Hill to the farm— Esther Forbes
9 of a dog : to indicate the position of game by crouching or pointing
10 : to dance face to face with another in a square dance set to your partner and turn
11a : to become solid or thickened by chemical or physical alteration the cement sets rapidly
b of a dye or color : to become permanent
c of a bone : to become whole by growing together
set about
: to begin to do
set apart
1 : to reserve to a particular use
2 : to make noticeable or outstanding
set aside
1 : to put to one side : discard
2 : to reserve for a purpose : save
3 : dismiss
set at
: to mount an attack on : assail would go although … devils should set at me— Charlotte Yonge
set eyes on
: to catch sight of
set foot in
: enter
set foot on
: to step onto
set forth
1 : to give an account or statement of
2 : to start out on a journey
set forward
1 : further
2 : to start out on a journey
set in motion
: to give impulse to sets the story in motion vividly— Howard Thompson
set one's hand to
: to become engaged in
set one's heart on
: resolve sense transitive 5 she set her heart on going to medical school
set one's house in order
: to organize one's affairs
set one's sights on
: to determine to pursue
set one's teeth on edge set one straight
: to correct someone by providing accurate information
set sail
: to start out on a course especially : to begin a voyage set sail for Bermuda
set store by or set store on
: to consider valuable, trustworthy, or worthwhile
set the stage
: to provide the basis or background this trend will set the stage for higher earnings
set to music
: to provide music or instrumental accompaniment for (a text)
set upon
: to attack usually with violence the dogs set upon the trespassers

set

noun

Definition of set (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : the act or action of setting
b : the condition of being set
2 : a number of things of the same kind that belong or are used together an electric train set
3a : mental inclination, tendency, or habit : bent a set toward mathematics
b : a state of psychological preparedness to perceive or respond to an anticipated stimulus or situation
4 : direction of flow the set of the wind
5 : form or carriage of the body or of its parts her face took on a cynical set— Raymond Kennedy
6 : the manner of fitting or of being placed or suspended in order to give the skirt a pretty set— Mary J. Howell
7 : amount of deflection from a straight line set of a saw's teeth
8 : permanent change of form (as of metal) due to repeated or excessive stress
9 : the act or result of arranging hair by curling or waving

10 or less commonly sett \ ˈset How to pronounce sett (audio) \

a : a young plant or rooted cutting ready for transplanting
b : a small bulb, corm, or tuber or a piece of tuber used for propagation onion sets
c : the blossoms of a plant that have set fruit as a result of fertilization
11 or sett : the burrow of a badger
12 : the width of the body of a piece of type
13 : an artificial setting for a scene of a theatrical or film production
14 or less commonly sett : a rectangular paving stone of sandstone or granite
15 : a division of a tennis match won by the side that wins at least six games beating the opponent by two games or by winning a tiebreaker
16 : a collection of books or periodicals forming a unit
17 : a clutch of eggs
18 : the basic formation in a country-dance or square dance
19 : a session of music (such as jazz or dance music) usually followed by an intermission also : the music played at one session
20 : a group of persons associated by common interests
21 : a collection of elements and especially mathematical ones (such as numbers or points)

called also class

22 : an apparatus of electronic components assembled so as to function as a unit a television set
23 : a usually offensive formation in football or basketball
24 : a group of a specific number of repetitions of a particular exercise

set

adjective

Definition of set (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : intent, determined set upon going
2 : intentional, premeditated did it of set purpose
3 : fixed by authority or appointment : prescribed, specified set hours of study
4 : reluctant to change set in their ways
5a : immovable, rigid set frown
b : built-in a set tub
6 : settled, persistent set defiance
7 : being in readiness : prepared set for an early morning start

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Synonyms & Antonyms for set

Synonyms: Verb

brood, hatch, incubate, sit

Synonyms: Noun

bloc, block, body, coalition, faction, party, sect, side, wing

Synonyms: Adjective

fit, go, prepared, ready

Antonyms: Adjective

flat-footed, half-baked, half-cocked, underprepared, unprepared, unready

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Examples of set in a Sentence

Verb

We need to set some extra chairs around the table. He set the ladder against the wall and walked away. I remember setting my bag right here. They set the bricks along the walkway. The jeweler can set the stone several different ways. He turned off the car and set the parking brake. Rangers will set a trap to catch the bear. We set an extra place at the table for our guest.

Noun

I need to buy a new set of golf clubs. The kids are allowed to watch two hours of television. After that, I turn off the set. We met on the set of Hamlet.

Adjective

Her college is set in the countryside. Their house is set back from the road. a man with deep-set eyes She has very set ideas about how children should behave.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Along with a coating of bright red lipstick, the celeb had multiple sets of eyes for the evening. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Ezra Miller Wore Multiple Sets of Eyes for His Met Gala 2019 Makeup," 7 May 2019 And yet that’s what PlayMagic has done, with a new XIII release set for—appropriately—November 13. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Lego Star Wars returns, Ubisoft gives away Assassin's Creed: Unity after Notre Dame fire," 15 Apr. 2019 Another bill that became law is intended to preserve a historic water agreement between two sets of water users to prevent declines in the Lake Erie-sized Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer relied on by farmers and cities. Keith Ridler, The Seattle Times, "Idaho Legislature wraps up session that ends with acrimony," 11 Apr. 2019 Instead of using a conventional helicopter layout with main rotors and a stabilizing tail rotor, the Defiant uses two sets of counter-rotating main rotors and a rear-facing propulsor propeller for forward thrust. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "First Flight of the SB-1 Defiant, a Potential Blackhawk Helicopter Replacement," 26 Mar. 2019 The royal family has had a banner year, and in recent months, all eyes have been on two sets of newlyweds: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "A Definitive History of Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi's Relationship," 26 Nov. 2018 After all, Game of Thrones has a history of making viewers believe one set of events would go down and then throwing the wildest of curveballs. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "This Game of Thrones Theory Suggests the Night King Isn't Going to Winterfell at All," 22 Apr. 2019 The Bank of Canada, though, is likely to look past this set of inflation figures, given other signs of softness in the economy and a slightly more dour mood among domestic companies on sales prospects. ... Paul Vieira, WSJ, "Canadian Inflation Accelerated in March," 17 Apr. 2019 This set comes with a red enamel exterior and stainless steel handles that'll add a fun pop of color to your kitchen. Betty Gold, Good Housekeeping, "5 Best Ceramic Cookware Sets to Buy in 2019, According to Kitchen Product Experts," 1 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In mid- and low-end processors, the processor is locked to only run at a set speed. Richard Baguley, Ars Technica, "Review: Intel’s 9th Gen Core i9 9900K processor hits 5GHz—just at a price," 17 Nov. 2018 For the set monthly price of $1,395, subscribers can chose from a range of vehicles, including the Audi A4 sedan, A5 Cabriolet, Audi Q5 and Audi Q7 SUVs, and S5 Coupe. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Audi’s new subscription service lets you swap vehicles twice a month," 21 Sep. 2018 This customer purchased a government contract plan for a high-speed wireless data allotment at a set monthly cost. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Verizon throttled fire department’s “unlimited” data during Calif. wildfire," 21 Aug. 2018 This customer purchased a government contract plan for a high-speed wireless data allotment at a set monthly cost. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Verizon Throttled California Fire Department's Data During Largest Fire in California History," 22 Aug. 2018 But those two Apple shows have not exactly set American popular culture on fire. Daniel Arkin /, NBC News, "Apple's script for conquering Hollywood is a mystery so far," 13 July 2018 The malfunction risks causing a vehicle to maintain a set speed even when a motorist taps the brakes or flips a switch to turn off cruise control. Mike Spector, WSJ, "Cruise-Control Glitch Makes Fiat Chrysler No. 1 in Recalls," 21 June 2018 Inspectors from the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency, the group that is monitoring Iran and would be tasked to do the same in North Korea, last set foot in the country nearly a decade ago. Tracy Wilkinson, latimes.com, "Would a North Korea nuclear deal be better than the one Trump just abandoned with Iran?," 8 June 2018 Four schools are now part of a selective program to help elementary school girls stay in school, dream big and set goals. Byron Mccauley, Cincinnati.com, "Down on kids these days? These girls will turn your frowns upside down," 26 Feb. 2018

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

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for set

Verb

Middle English setten, from Old English settan; akin to Old High German sezzen to set, Old English sittan to sit

Adjective

Middle English sett, from Old English gesett, past participle of settan

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Dictionary Entries near set

sesunc

Sesuto

Sesuvium

set

seta

setaceous

set acid

Statistics for set

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Time Traveler for set

The first known use of set was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for set

set

verb
\ ˈset How to pronounce set (audio) \
set; setting

Kids Definition of set

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to put or fix in a place or condition I set the box on a table.
2 : to cause to be, become, or do Police set the prisoner free.
3 : start entry 1 sense 4 He set a fire.
4 : to fix or decide on They set the wedding date. Have you set a price?
5 : to furnish as a model You should set an example for the others. She ran to the front and set the pace.
6 : to adjust or put in order for use Please set the table. Did you set the alarm?
7 : to fix firmly He sets his feet and takes aim.
8 : to pass below the horizon : go down The sun is setting.
9 : to begin some activity They set to work on the cleaning project.
10 : to cause to sit I set the baby in her chair.
11 : to arrange in a desired and especially a normal position Doctors set the broken bone.
12 : to become or cause to become firm or solid Wait for the cement to set.
13 : to cover and warm eggs to hatch them The hen set for days.
14 : to locate the plot of (a story)
15 : to provide (as words or verses) with music
set aside
: to reserve for some purpose
set eyes on
: to catch sight of : see Though he lived nearby, I had never set eyes on him.
set in
: to make its appearance : begin They needed to leave arctic waters before winter set in.
set off
1 : to start a journey We set off for home.
2 : explode sense 1 We set off fireworks.
3 : to make noticeable The phrase is set off by commas.
4 : to cause to start The story set them off laughing.
set out
1 : to begin on a course or journey We arrived a month after we set out.
2 : to begin with a purpose He set out to win.
set up
1 : to place or secure in position Help me set up the tables.
2 : to put in operation The community set up an animal shelter.

set

noun

Kids Definition of set (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a number of persons or things of the same kind that belong together, are used together, or occur together a set of footsteps He was given two sets of clothes and a towel.— Louis Sachar, Holes
2 : the act or action of going below the horizon the set of the sun
3 : an electronic apparatus a television set
4 : a collection of mathematical elements
5 : a group of tennis games that make up a match
6 : the form or movement of the body or of its parts the set of the shoulders
7 : an artificial setting for a scene of a play or motion picture

set

adjective

Kids Definition of set (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : fixed by authority a set rule
2 : not very willing to change The people he works with are set in their ways.
3 : ready entry 1 sense 1 Are you all set?

set

verb
\ ˈset How to pronounce set (audio) \
set; setting

Medical Definition of set

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to restore to normal position or connection when dislocated or fractured set a broken bone

intransitive verb

1 : to become solid or thickened by chemical or physical alteration
2 of a bone : to become whole by knitting

set

noun

Medical Definition of set (Entry 2 of 2)

: a state of psychological preparedness usually of limited duration for action in response to an anticipated stimulus or situation the influence of mental set on problem solving

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More from Merriam-Webster on set

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for set

Spanish Central: Translation of set

Nglish: Translation of set for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of set for Arabic Speakers

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