setoff

noun
set·​off | \ ˈset-ˌȯf \

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

With their covers about to be blown, the Israeli undercover forces inside the vehicle opened fire, setting off a fierce battle that left eight people dead and triggered a brief but intense round of cross-border fighting. Fares Akram, The Seattle Times, "Palestinians offer new details of Israel’s botched Gaza raid," 12 Dec. 2018 Once activated, a camera in the bed monitors the Gear Guards closely, setting off an alarm if anyone attempts to tamper with the cargo. Kraig Becker, Popular Mechanics, "Rivian's Electric Truck and SUV Are Built to Tackle the Great Outdoors," 27 Nov. 2018 Instead, Juul mixes freebase nicotine with an acid, setting off a chemical reaction that produces the salts. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Juul’s nicotine salts are dominating the market — and other companies want in," 21 Nov. 2018 But Delhiites were defiant, setting off all kinds of fireworks for hours. Umair Irfan, Vox, "New Delhi is once again the most polluted city on Earth," 8 Nov. 2018 Thousands of supporters gathered in front of Mr. Bolsonaro’s house in Rio de Janeiro after the result, setting off fireworks and waving Brazil’s yellow and green national flag. Samantha Pearson And Luciana Magalhaes, WSJ, "Antiestablishment Candidate Wins Brazil’s Presidential Race," 28 Oct. 2018 Finally, pipers from the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland will perform Scottish pieces from the Garter Tower as Eugenie and Jack set off on their carriage procession around Windsor. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "New Details About Princess Eugenie's Royal Wedding Have Just Been Released," 6 Oct. 2018 Richard Cordray Richard Cordray resigned from his post as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on November 24, 2017, setting off a fight between his former chief of staff and the White House over who would replace him. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Former Trump administration officials: A list of notable departures," 30 Aug. 2018 Getting into the group costs about $2,300 USD per person, with a group minimum of eight people and sets off in October (more info here). Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "This Week in Timothée Chalamet, July 13 Edition," 13 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

setness

setnet

set nut

setoff

set off

set-off man

setoff sheet

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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