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

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Synonyms for setback

Synonyms: Noun

knock, lapse, reversal, reverse

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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

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce has revealed that striker Dwight Gayle has suffered a number of injury setbacks this season, which have kept him out of the side's opening four Premier League games. SI.com, "Steve Bruce Provides Injury Update on Dwight Gayle Ahead of International Break," 4 Sep. 2019 The university hoped to open the season at Dillon, though renovation setbacks caused the teams to play its first home games at the University of Hartford. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "With Dillon Stadium’s lights not finished, Hartford Athletic moves Saturday’s game to 4 p.m.," 3 Sep. 2019 Around the bay • Architectural dividends: S.F.’s huge new transit center has been plagued by high-profile setbacks. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: A new day for Mission Bay," 26 Aug. 2019 The changes reduced the cap on new residential development from 4,500 units to 2,100 and imposed stricter height and setback requirements after many residents complained about the rate at which high-density residential projects were popping up. Priscella Vega, Daily Pilot, "Huntington Beach council to review previously denied Ellis Avenue condo development," 16 Aug. 2019 Next milestone will be to start playing football without contact, again, always monitoring to see if there’s setbacks. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan CB Ambry Thomas out indefinitely as he recovers from colitis," 13 Aug. 2019 In 2014, the legislature passed one of the nation’s most restrictive setback laws, nearly tripling the distance required from a wind turbine to property lines (without a waiver from the property owner). David Roberts, Vox, "Ohio just passed the worst energy bill of the 21st century," 27 July 2019 Perhaps the governor’s largest setback was his effort to impose a new tax on water users for clean water supplies in disadvantaged communities, replaced in the final budget with a plan that relies on funds earmarked for climate change programs. John Myers, latimes.com, "California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed his first budget. Here’s where the $215 billion will go," 27 June 2019 And sometimes those setbacks are, well, in your face. Ashley Hoffman, Time, "This Photo of a Volleyball Smushing Leonardo DiCaprio in the Face Is Already Summer 2019's Finest Meme," 26 June 2019

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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Statistics for setback

Last Updated

7 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for setback

The first known use of setback was in 1600

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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.

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Comments on setback

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