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
set off; setting off; sets off

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

Fields broke loose for a 51-yard touchdown run, setting off an impressive opening 12-minute salvo. Nathan Baird, cleveland.com, "Ohio State must build on defensive start from 45-21 victory over Florida Atlantic," 31 Aug. 2019 In Paradise, a blizzard of firebrands inundated the town, setting off an estimated 400 spot fires, landing on unkempt yards, roofs and gutters full of dead leaves. AZCentral.com, "Of small communities across 11 states, more than 500 have a higher wildfire hazard potential than Paradise, Calif.," 23 July 2019 Three months later, in late 2018, the city of Dunedin sued to collect, setting off another legal fight over how local governments use their power to impose heavy fines on citizens. Kristine Phillips, USA Today, "A Florida woman was fined $100,000 for a dirty pool and overgrown grass. When do fines become excessive?," 19 July 2019 Of 55 instances in which the Sinatra students screamed, 22 set off the detector. Jack Gillum, ProPublica, "Aggression Detectors: The Unproven, Invasive Surveillance Technology Schools Are Using to Monitor Students," 25 June 2019 But the colt swung wide in the far turn at Churchill Downs, impeding the path of War of Will and setting off a chain reaction that caused Long Range Toddy and Bodexpress to drop from contenders to also-rans. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al.com, "Belmont Stakes 2019: No Triple Crown at stake, but Kentucky Derby still looms large," 7 June 2019 Reba, though, decided to spend the night in California with her stylist, Sandi Spika, and then-husband Narvel Blackstock as her band members and tour manager set off for the next tour destination. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "Reba McEntire Honors Late Band Members Who Died in a Tragic Plane Crash 28 Years Ago," 18 Mar. 2019 After the dam’s collapse, the agricultural system failed and famine spread, setting off a mass migration of people. Robert F. Worth, The New York Review of Books, "Yemen Under Siege," 21 Feb. 2019 Factoring in the outdoors, something as subtle as falling leaves can result in a false alert; a big truck rumbling down the road might also set off a notification of potential trouble when there’s really none. Diane Cowen, San Antonio Express-News, "Home security is more affordable — and better —than ever," 12 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

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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

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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