setoff

noun
set·​off | \ ˈset-ˌȯf How to pronounce setoff (audio) \

Definition of setoff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something that is set off against another thing:
2 : the reduction or discharge of a debt or claim by setting against it a distinct claim in favor of the debtor or party who is the object of the first claim (as in a lawsuit) also : the offsetting claim itself

set off

verb

Definition of set off (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to put in relief : show up by contrast
c : to set apart : make distinct or outstanding
2a : offset, compensate more variety in the Lancashire weather to set off its most disagreeable phasesGeog. Jour.
b : to make a setoff of the respective totals shall be set off against one another— O. R. Hobson
3a : to set in motion : cause to begin
b : to cause to explode
4 : to measure off on a surface

intransitive verb

: to start out on a course or a journey set off for home

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Examples of setoff in a Sentence

Noun

the architect used stone carvings as setoffs for the building's marble facing

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The militant group’s defeat sets the stage for President Donald Trump to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from northern Syria, a drawdown that’s expected to set off a race to fill the vacuum. Sarah El Deeb, The Seattle Times, "Syria’s Assad: Last man standing amid new Arab uprisings," 13 Apr. 2019 As if that’s not enough to set off your B.S. meter, it’s even being touted as a treatment for addiction and mental illness. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Surprise: Celery Juice Will Not Cure All of Your Health Issues," 25 Jan. 2019 This proposal is certain to set off a battle with the deep-pocketed denizens of Benedict Canyon. Alex Bhattacharji, Town & Country, "An Empty Lot Above Beverly Hills Is the Most Expensive Real Estate in the World," 17 Jan. 2019 There, an attempt by President Emmanuel Macron to impose a carbon tax designed to reduce the use of fossil fuels as a way to combat global warming helped set off rioting that compelled the French leader to scrap the tax. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "Climate Change Emerging From the Political Shadows," 10 Dec. 2018 Large Ship Line #6: Celebrity Cruises Celebrity's fleet of five Solstice-Class ships are moderately sized, with each sailing setting off with anywhere from 2,800 and 3,100 guests. Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Cruise Lines in the World: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018 To do that, the spacecraft is going to first set off a small explosive projectile, which will make a crater on the surface. Loren Grush, The Verge, "A Japanese spacecraft just threw two small rovers at an asteroid," 21 Sep. 2018 On Lap 66, Stenhouse nudged the right rear panel of Kyle Busch to set off another chain of crashes. Edgar Thompson, OrlandoSentinel.com, "First-time winner Erik Jones emerges from wild wreck-filled night at Coke Zero Sugar 400," 8 July 2018 In Miami-Dade, police are looking for a man who filmed himself setting off a firework inside a Dollar Tree store near The Falls mall in southwest Miami-Dade. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, "'We about to go crazy.' Instagram prankster sets off firework inside a Miami Dollar Tree," 5 July 2018

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

Noun

1621, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Dictionary Entries near setoff

setnet

set nut

set off

setoff

set-off man

setoff sheet

set on

Statistics for setoff

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for setoff

The first known use of setoff was circa 1598

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More Definitions for setoff

set-off

noun
\ ˈset-ˌȯf\

Legal Definition of set-off

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the reduction or discharge of a debt by setting against it a claim in favor of the debtor specifically : the reduction or discharge of a party's debt or claim by an assertion of another claim arising out of another transaction or cause of action against the other party
2a : a right to seek reduction or discharge of a debt or claim by countering a party's claim with an independent claim
b : a counterclaim made by a defendant against a plaintiff for reduction or discharge of a debt by reason of an independent debt owed by the plaintiff to the defendant — compare recoupment sense 2

set off

transitive verb

Legal Definition of set off (Entry 2 of 2)

: to reduce or discharge by set-off : offset

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More from Merriam-Webster on setoff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with setoff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for setoff

Nglish: Translation of setoff for Spanish Speakers

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