set·​out | \ ˈset-ˌau̇t How to pronounce setout (audio) \

Definition of setout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

set out

set out; setting out; sets out

Definition of set out (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to arrange and present graphically or systematically
b : to mark out (something, such as a design) : lay out the plan of
2 : to state, describe, or recite at length distributed copies of a pamphlet setting out his ideas in full— S. F. Mason
3 : to begin with a definite purpose : intend, undertake

intransitive verb

: to start out on a course, a journey, or a career set out across the country

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Examples of setout in a Sentence


the setout of the stations at the polling place was a little confusing


in his inaugural address, the president set out his vision for the nation over the next four years

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And yeah, there’s some seriousness here (Lou’s would-be squeeze has apparently been kidnapped by an abusive ex), but the overall tone is light and playful, especially as Lou and his friend setout to become detectives. Will Nevin,, "WW #98: A dark comic comfort in unsure political times," 17 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This summer, countless Southerners will set out on pilgramages to get their fingers on some of the best 'cue America has to offer. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "The Most Uniquely Searched for Barbecue Sauce Recipes in Every State," 20 June 2019 Starting in the mid-1990s, as development accelerated and traffic soared, University of Alberta researchers set out to study how best to restore the natural environment. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "Repeat Photography Reveals How Glaciers Change Over Time," 17 June 2019 This is largely expected to be Merkel's final term, though the chancellor hasn't yet set out her future plans. Geir Moulson, Fox News, "Merkel's party ousts close ally of chancellor from top post," 25 Sep. 2018 This is widely expected to be the 64-year-old Merkel’s final term, though the chancellor hasn’t yet set out her future plans. Geir Moulson, The Seattle Times, "Merkel’s party ousts close ally of chancellor from top post," 25 Sep. 2018 And on setting out to design the New Museum’s expansion in an adjacent property — a former restaurant supply company on the Bowery — the firm initially planned to work within the existing structure. Robin Pogrebin, New York Times, "A Newer New Museum Is Coming, With Twice as Much Space," 26 June 2019 Or Mr Xi can offer Hong Kong hope again, by setting out a timetable for real democratic reform. The Economist, "To restore calm in Hong Kong, try democracy," 20 June 2019 Now, two and a half years after setting out on their adventure, Malin and his family are finally getting ready to spend their own Mrs. Maisel-esque first summer in the finished home. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "See How Gray Malin Turned a Fixer-Upper Into a Dreamy Lake House," 18 June 2019 While some might say that’s a good thing (the building is divisive to say the least) the facelift seems to have inadvertently accomplished the exact opposite of what the original plan set out to do. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Portland Building on track to be delisted from National Register of Historic Places," 17 June 2019

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


circa 1807, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Time Traveler for setout

The first known use of setout was in the 14th century

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characterized by aphorism

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