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set·​out ˈset-ˌau̇t How to pronounce setout (audio)

set out

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set out; setting out; sets out

transitive verb

: to arrange and present graphically or systematically
: to mark out (something, such as a design) : lay out the plan of
: to state, describe, or recite at length
distributed copies of a pamphlet setting out his ideas in fullS. F. Mason
: to begin with a definite purpose : intend, undertake

intransitive verb

: to start out on a course, a journey, or a career
set out across the country

Examples of setout in a Sentence

Noun the setout of the stations at the polling place was a little confusing Verb in his inaugural address, the president set out his vision for the nation over the next four years
Recent Examples on the Web
Founded 30 years ago, originally set out to make video game graphics better with its processors. Richard Nieva, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 Meyers pivoted hard during Trump’s first bid for the Presidency, deliberately setting out to fill the void left by Stewart. Inkoo Kang, The New Yorker, 13 Feb. 2024 Johnson, a renowned author, educator, lawyer and civil rights activist, set out to write a poem to to commemorate President Abraham Lincoln's birthday, and the piece became a song. Aliza Chasan, CBS News, 11 Feb. 2024 With Kamila Valieva banned, Russian skaters get bronze and everyone’s mad Don Catlin didn’t set out to live in a lab. Les Carpenter, Washington Post, 10 Feb. 2024 That’s why Secretary of State Antony Blinken has set out on a grand tour of American allies in the Middle East with a portfolio of interlocking diplomatic proposals. Hussein Ibish, The Atlantic, 8 Feb. 2024 After an increase in shark sightings in his hometown, Mackie sets out to learn more about these concerning cases from local fishing communities in Louisiana but discovers these human-shark encounters may be pointing to larger environmental issues across the greater Gulf of Mexico. Selome Hailu, Variety, 8 Feb. 2024 This year, the Americana artist will set out on his biggest tour to date. Sadie Bell, Peoplemag, 6 Feb. 2024 Following his Grammys performance, Burna Boy will set out on the second leg of his tour in support of I Told Them…. Madison Bloom, Pitchfork, 5 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'setout.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


circa 1807, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


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

Time Traveler
The first known use of setout was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near setout

Cite this Entry

“Setout.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

set out

: to begin with a definite purpose : undertake
deliberately set out to win
: to start out on a course, a journey, or a career
set out to be a doctor
set out for Spain
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