set

verb
\ ˈset How to pronounce set (audio) \
set; setting

Definition of set

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to cause to sit : place in or on a seat
2a : to put (a fowl) on eggs to hatch them
b : to put (eggs) for hatching under a fowl or into an incubator
3 : to place (oneself) in position to start running in a race
4a : to place with care or deliberate purpose and with relative stability set a ladder against the wall set a stone on the grave
b : transplant sense 1 set seedlings
c(1) : to make (a trap) ready to catch prey
(2) : to fix (a hook) firmly into the jaw of a fish
d : to put aside (something, such as dough containing yeast) for fermenting
5 : to direct with fixed attention set your mind to it
6a : to cause to assume a specified condition, relation, or occupation slaves were set free set the house on fire
b : to cause the start of set a fire
7a : to appoint or assign to an office or duty
8 : to cause to assume a specified posture or position set the door ajar
9a : to fix as a distinguishing imprint, sign, or appearance the years have set their mark on him
b : affix
c : apply set a match to kindling
10 : to fix or decide on as a time, limit, or regulation : prescribe set a wedding day set the rules for the game
11a : to establish as the highest level or best performance set a record for the half mile
b : to furnish as a pattern or model set an example of generosity
c : to allot as a task setting lessons for the children to work upon at homeManchester Examiner
12a : to adjust (a device and especially a measuring device) to a desired position set the alarm for 7:00 set a thermostat at 68 also : to adjust (something, such as a clock) in conformity with a standard
b : to restore to normal position or connection when dislocated or fractured set a broken bone
c : to spread to the wind set the sails
13a : to put in order for use set a place for a guest
b : to make scenically ready for a performance set the stage
c(1) : to arrange (type) for printing set type by hand
(2) : to put into type or its equivalent (as on film) set the first word in italic
14a : to put a fine edge on by grinding or honing set a razor
b : to bend slightly the tooth points of (a saw) alternately in opposite directions
c : to sink (the head of a nail) below the surface
15 : to fix in a desired position (as by heating or stretching)
16 : to arrange (hair) in a desired style by using implements (such as curlers, rollers, or clips) and gels or lotions
17a : to adorn with something affixed or infixed : stud, dot clear sky set with stars
b : to fix (something, such as a precious stone) in a border of metal : place in a setting
c : to place in a specified literary or dramatic setting a story set in Paris
18a : to hold something in regard or esteem at the rate of sets a great deal by daily exercise
b : to place in a relative rank or category set duty before pleasure
c : to fix at a certain amount set bail at $500
d : value, rate their promises were set at naught
e : to place as an estimate of worth set a high value on life
19 : to place in relation for comparison or balance theory set against practice
20a : to direct to action
b : to incite to attack or antagonism war sets brother against brother
21a : to place by transporting was set ashore on the island
b : to put in motion
c : to put and fix in a direction set our faces toward home once more
d of a dog : to point out the position of (game) by holding a fixed attitude
22 : to defeat (an opponent or a contract) in bridge
23a : to fix firmly : make immobile : give rigid form or condition to set her jaw in determination
b : to make unyielding or obstinate
24 : to cause to become firm or solid set milk for cheese
25 : to cause (fruit or seed) to develop

intransitive verb

1 chiefly dialectal : sit
2 : to be becoming : be suitable : fit the coat sets well
3 : to cover and warm eggs to hatch them
4a : to affect one with or as if with weight the pudding sets heavily on my stomach
b : to place oneself in position in preparation for an action (such as running)
5 of a plant part : to undergo development usually as a result of pollination
6a : to pass below the horizon : go down the sun sets
b : to come to an end this century sets with little mirth— Thomas Fuller
7 : to apply oneself to some activity set to work
8 : to have a specified direction in motion : flow, tend the wind was setting from Pine Hill to the farm— Esther Forbes
9 of a dog : to indicate the position of game by crouching or pointing
10 : to dance face to face with another in a square dance set to your partner and turn
11a : to become solid or thickened by chemical or physical alteration the cement sets rapidly
b of a dye or color : to become permanent
c of a bone : to become whole by growing together
set about
: to begin to do
set apart
1 : to reserve to a particular use
2 : to make noticeable or outstanding
set aside
1 : to put to one side : discard
2 : to reserve for a purpose : save
set at
: to mount an attack on : assail would go although … devils should set at me— Charlotte Yonge
set eyes on
: to catch sight of
set foot in set foot on
: to step onto
set forth
1 : to give an account or statement of
2 : to start out on a journey
set forward
2 : to start out on a journey
set in motion
: to give impulse to sets the story in motion vividly— Howard Thompson
set one's hand to
: to become engaged in
set one's heart on
: resolve sense transitive 5 she set her heart on going to medical school
set one's house in order
: to organize one's affairs
set one's sights on
: to determine to pursue
set one's teeth on edge set one straight
: to correct someone by providing accurate information
set sail
: to start out on a course especially : to begin a voyage set sail for Bermuda
set store by or set store on
: to consider valuable, trustworthy, or worthwhile
set the stage
: to provide the basis or background this trend will set the stage for higher earnings
set to music
: to provide music or instrumental accompaniment for (a text)
set upon
: to attack usually with violence the dogs set upon the trespassers

set

noun

Definition of set (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : the act or action of setting
b : the condition of being set
2 : a number of things of the same kind that belong or are used together an electric train set
3a : mental inclination, tendency, or habit : bent a set toward mathematics
b : a state of psychological preparedness to perceive or respond to an anticipated stimulus or situation
4 : direction of flow the set of the wind
5 : form or carriage of the body or of its parts her face took on a cynical set— Raymond Kennedy
6 : the manner of fitting or of being placed or suspended in order to give the skirt a pretty set— Mary J. Howell
7 : amount of deflection from a straight line set of a saw's teeth
8 : permanent change of form (as of metal) due to repeated or excessive stress
9 : the act or result of arranging hair by curling or waving
10 or less commonly sett \ ˈset How to pronounce sett (audio) \
a : a young plant or rooted cutting ready for transplanting
b : a small bulb, corm, or tuber or a piece of tuber used for propagation onion sets
c : the blossoms of a plant that have set fruit as a result of fertilization
11 or sett : the burrow of a badger
12 : the width of the body of a piece of type
13 : an artificial setting for a scene of a theatrical or film production
14 or less commonly sett : a rectangular paving stone of sandstone or granite
15 : a division of a tennis match won by the side that wins at least six games beating the opponent by two games or by winning a tiebreaker
16 : a collection of books or periodicals forming a unit
17 : a clutch of eggs
18 : the basic formation in a country-dance or square dance
19 : a session of music (such as jazz or dance music) usually followed by an intermission also : the music played at one session
20 : a group of persons associated by common interests
21 : a collection of elements and especially mathematical ones (such as numbers or points)

called also class

22 : an apparatus of electronic components assembled so as to function as a unit a television set
23 : a usually offensive formation in football or basketball
24 : a group of a specific number of repetitions of a particular exercise

Definition of set (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : intent, determined set upon going
2 : intentional, premeditated did it of set purpose
3 : fixed by authority or appointment : prescribed, specified set hours of study
4 : reluctant to change set in their ways
5a : immovable, rigid set frown
b : built-in a set tub
6 : settled, persistent set defiance
7 : being in readiness : prepared set for an early morning start

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Synonyms & Antonyms for set

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of set in a Sentence

Verb We need to set some extra chairs around the table. He set the ladder against the wall and walked away. I remember setting my bag right here. They set the bricks along the walkway. The jeweler can set the stone several different ways. He turned off the car and set the parking brake. Rangers will set a trap to catch the bear. We set an extra place at the table for our guest. Noun I need to buy a new set of golf clubs. The kids are allowed to watch two hours of television. After that, I turn off the set. We met on the set of Hamlet. Adjective Her college is set in the countryside. Their house is set back from the road. a man with deep-set eyes She has very set ideas about how children should behave.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That the chemistry of change has no set conditions. Tessa Love, Longreads, "California Burning," 8 Nov. 2019 Fenwick rallied to force a decisive fifth set after trailing 2-1 through three. Joe Noga, cleveland, "Gilmour volleyball’s Division II state tournament run ends in 5-set semifinal loss to Bishop Fenwick," 8 Nov. 2019 Each can be programmed to follow a set path, which saves time and money over manual control for farmers who run the same routes as part of a routine. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Here's John Deere's Cropdusting Drone," 7 Nov. 2019 Mendel worked out the first set of rules of heredity. The Economist, "Modern genetics will improve health and usher in “designer” children," 7 Nov. 2019 There is no set profile of a student attacker or a profile for what kind of school gets targeted, the study said. Anna Gunther, CBS News, "Secret Service study says most school shooters showed warning signs," 7 Nov. 2019 Soldiers from Agua Prieta dropped away from the group and a new set of military escorts, already set up and waiting, replaced them in the caravan. Rafael Carranza, USA TODAY, "'The fear is extreme': Family relatives join heavily-armed convoy to travel into Mexico for funerals," 7 Nov. 2019 Duke has responded to more than 89 sets of discovery requests, comprising more than 1,060 individual data requests, according to Protogere. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, "State agency: Deny Duke's $400 million rate increase and cut current rates by $130 million," 7 Nov. 2019 Online jail records show a bail of $20,000 has been set and indicate Blackwell was in custody as of Wednesday evening. Steve Almasy, CNN, "Milwaukee resident accused of throwing acid in a man's face is charged with a hate crime," 6 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective There's no set distance, and no set total time, just endless laps around a four-mile course, which participants must complete once an hour. Wired, "The Most Diabolical Race and the Rise of Women Endurance Stars," 24 Oct. 2019 Until then, the World War II–set drama followed a group of Japanese Americans living in U.S. internment camps while being haunted by a murderous spirit. Nancy Matsumoto, The Atlantic, "Two Ways of Looking at The Terror: Infamy’s Finale," 16 Oct. 2019 Gray argued at trial that one of Donnelly’s friends set things off by hurling a gay slur at the younger crew. Sarah Horner, Twin Cities, "22-year-old who caused traumatic brain injuries to man outside State Fair sentenced to probation, year in jail," 3 Oct. 2019 The 6-foot-9-inch, 220-pound Grant is coming off a breakout season that saw him set career highs in points (13.6) and rebounds (5.2). BostonGlobe.com, "Thunder deal Grant, get 13th first-rounder," 9 July 2019 There's still no set release date, but production on the film is slated to start this year. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Lifetime’s College Admissions Scandal Movie: Everything We Know So Far," 13 Aug. 2019 With help from set decorator Jess Royal and art director Sean Brennan, Trujillo went on a deep dive into the history of the malls in America. Meredith Blake, latimes.com, "How 'Stranger Things' made the Starcourt Mall," 11 July 2019 One of the festival, but unfortunately their set times overlap. Jim Harrington, The Mercury News, "Outside Lands set times announced: Here are 5 biggest conflicts," 25 July 2019 Adaptive cruise control: Braking and throttle control to keep the car at a set speed and distance behind other vehicles. Mark Phelan, USA TODAY, "These car features could prevent your next crash," 10 June 2019

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

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for set

Verb

Middle English setten, from Old English settan; akin to Old High German sezzen to set, Old English sittan to sit

Adjective

Middle English sett, from Old English gesett, past participle of settan

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More Definitions for set

set

verb
\ ˈset How to pronounce set (audio) \
set; setting

Kids Definition of set

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to put or fix in a place or condition I set the box on a table.
2 : to cause to be, become, or do Police set the prisoner free.
3 : start entry 1 sense 4 He set a fire.
4 : to fix or decide on They set the wedding date. Have you set a price?
5 : to furnish as a model You should set an example for the others. She ran to the front and set the pace.
6 : to adjust or put in order for use Please set the table. Did you set the alarm?
7 : to fix firmly He sets his feet and takes aim.
8 : to pass below the horizon : go down The sun is setting.
9 : to begin some activity They set to work on the cleaning project.
10 : to cause to sit I set the baby in her chair.
11 : to arrange in a desired and especially a normal position Doctors set the broken bone.
12 : to become or cause to become firm or solid Wait for the cement to set.
13 : to cover and warm eggs to hatch them The hen set for days.
14 : to locate the plot of (a story)
15 : to provide (as words or verses) with music
set aside
: to reserve for some purpose
set eyes on
: to catch sight of : see Though he lived nearby, I had never set eyes on him.
set in
: to make its appearance : begin They needed to leave arctic waters before winter set in.
set off
1 : to start a journey We set off for home.
2 : explode sense 1 We set off fireworks.
3 : to make noticeable The phrase is set off by commas.
4 : to cause to start The story set them off laughing.
set out
1 : to begin on a course or journey We arrived a month after we set out.
2 : to begin with a purpose He set out to win.
set up
1 : to place or secure in position Help me set up the tables.
2 : to put in operation The community set up an animal shelter.

set

noun

Kids Definition of set (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a number of persons or things of the same kind that belong together, are used together, or occur together a set of footsteps He was given two sets of clothes and a towel.— Louis Sachar, Holes
2 : the act or action of going below the horizon the set of the sun
3 : an electronic apparatus a television set
4 : a collection of mathematical elements
5 : a group of tennis games that make up a match
6 : the form or movement of the body or of its parts the set of the shoulders
7 : an artificial setting for a scene of a play or motion picture

Kids Definition of set (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : fixed by authority a set rule
2 : not very willing to change The people he works with are set in their ways.
3 : ready entry 1 sense 1 Are you all set?

set

verb
\ ˈset How to pronounce set (audio) \
set; setting

Medical Definition of set

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to restore to normal position or connection when dislocated or fractured set a broken bone

intransitive verb

1 : to become solid or thickened by chemical or physical alteration
2 of a bone : to become whole by knitting

set

noun

Medical Definition of set (Entry 2 of 2)

: a state of psychological preparedness usually of limited duration for action in response to an anticipated stimulus or situation the influence of mental set on problem solving

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More from Merriam-Webster on set

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for set

Spanish Central: Translation of set

Nglish: Translation of set for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of set for Arabic Speakers

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