setback

noun
set·​back | \ ˈset-ˌbak How to pronounce setback (audio) \

Definition of setback

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a checking of progress
4 : a placing of a face of a building on a line some distance to the rear of the building line or of the wall below also : the area produced by a setback
5 : automatic scheduled adjustment to a lower temperature setting of a thermostat
6 : the distance of a structure or other feature (such as a well or septic system) from the property line or other feature

set back

verb
set back; setting back; sets back

Definition of set back (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to slow the progress of : hinder, delay
2 : cost a new suit will set you back $200

Synonyms for setback

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of setback in a Sentence

Noun Despite some early setbacks, they eventually became a successful company. the colonists persevered despite suffering setbacks that would have discouraged lesser souls
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But the third hour Today show coanchor didn’t let this setback throw off his commitment to movement. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, 22 Jan. 2022 The Covid-19 pills promise to keep people out of the hospital and slow the spread of the coronavirus, but resistance could jeopardize the usefulness of the drugs and deal a setback as businesses and schools press to stay open. Felicia Schwartz, WSJ, 22 Jan. 2022 The outcome, which had been expected and had been earlier recommended by prosecutors in Boston, is a further setback to the Justice Department’s pursuit of academics in the U.S. accused of concealing research relationships with China. NBC News, 21 Jan. 2022 But each new variant has dealt a disappointing setback as employers repeatedly postpone plans for a return to offices. New York Times, 21 Jan. 2022 Johnson suffered an early political setback when then-Conservative leader Michael Howard fired him in 2004 for lying about an extramarital affair. Fox News, 21 Jan. 2022 Johnson suffered an early political setback when then-Conservative leader Michael Howard fired him in 2004 for lying about an extramarital affair. Jill Lawless, Anchorage Daily News, 21 Jan. 2022 The outcome, which had been expected and had been earlier recommended by prosecutors in Boston, is a further setback to the Justice Department's pursuit of academics in the U.S. accused of concealing research relationships with China. Eric Tucker, ajc, 20 Jan. 2022 For most, the worst part are the physical feelings that come with a setback, like a flush in your cheeks or racing heart. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, 20 Jan. 2022

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

Noun

1674, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for setback

Time Traveler

The first known use of setback was in 1600

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Dictionary Entries Near setback

setation

setback

set back

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Statistics for setback

Last Updated

24 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Setback.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/setback. Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for setback

setback

noun

English Language Learners Definition of setback

: a problem that makes progress more difficult or success less likely

setback

noun
set·​back | \ ˈset-ˌbak How to pronounce setback (audio) \

Kids Definition of setback

: a slowing of progress : a temporary defeat Despite several setbacks we finished on schedule.

More from Merriam-Webster on setback

Nglish: Translation of setback for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of setback for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about setback

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