set·​ting | \ ˈse-tiŋ How to pronounce setting (audio) \

Definition of setting

1 : the manner, position, or direction in which something is set
2 : the frame or bed in which a gem is set also : style of mounting
3a : the time, place, and circumstances in which something occurs or develops
b : the time and place of the action of a literary, dramatic, or cinematic work
c : the scenery used in a theatrical or film production
4 : the music composed for a text (such as a poem)
5 : the articles of tableware for setting a place at table two settings of sterling silver
6 : a batch of eggs for incubation

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Choose the Right Synonym for setting

background, setting, environment, milieu, mise-en-scène mean the place, time, and circumstances in which something occurs. background often refers to the circumstances or events that precede a phenomenon or development. the shocking decision was part of the background of the riots setting suggests looking at real-life situations in literary or dramatic terms. a militant reformer who was born into an unlikely social setting environment applies to all the external factors that have a formative influence on one's physical, mental, or moral development. the kind of environment that produces juvenile delinquents milieu applies especially to the physical and social surroundings of a person or group of persons. an intellectual milieu conducive to artistic experimentation mise-en-scène strongly suggests the use of properties to achieve a particular atmosphere or theatrical effect. a gothic thriller with a carefully crafted mise-en-scène

Examples of setting in a Sentence

This would be a beautiful setting for a picnic. He tends to be shy in social settings. dining in a casual setting The movie changes the play's setting from the late 18th century to the year 2000. She uses modern-day Los Angeles as the setting for her book. Save money by turning the temperature settings up in the summer and down in the winter. She just learned how to change the settings on her camera.
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Recent Examples on the Web Officials also sought information on the effects of privacy settings on third-party access to data and Facebook’s enforcement of policies. Washington Post, "California discloses Facebook probe, sues for documents," 6 Nov. 2019 So a majestic bowl — that would otherwise present severe avalanche danger — can be made safe for expert skiers in one of the most beautiful settings in Colorado skiing. John Meyer, The Know, "3 ways to score free season passes at Colorado ski resorts," 1 Nov. 2019 But incidents have occurred in a variety of settings in recent years. USA Today, "A security empire deployed guards with violent pasts across the U.S. Some went on to rape, assault or kill," 31 Oct. 2019 In the spot, a smattering of speakers take turns lambasting impeachment in a variety of settings—at home, in offices, and on factory floors. NBC News, "Pro-Biden super PAC officially launches, calling for country to 'unite'," 31 Oct. 2019 Game theory is mainly used in economics, but its principles apply to a range of settings, including nuclear strategy, which Christie’s notes was a matter of dire concern during the 1950s. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "John Nash’s Nobel Prize Sells for $735,000," 29 Oct. 2019 There is a fine line between distilling problems to issues of principle and losing track of the settings altogether. Jedediah Britton-purdy, The New Republic, "What John Rawls Missed," 29 Oct. 2019 Several of the table settings are given away as raffle prizes., "Ready? Get set: Table hop with Mar Jennings at Set To Celebrate show," 25 Oct. 2019 In that, yes, a lot of the AI and digital enhancements work, but you're also presented with a number of customizable settings. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "The Pixel 4 and 4 XL sit among the stars of Android phones," 21 Oct. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for setting

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for setting

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

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More Definitions for setting


How to pronounce setting (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of setting

: the place and conditions in which something happens or exists
: the time, place, and conditions in which the action of a book, movie, etc., takes place
US : the rooms, painted backgrounds, furniture, etc., that are used for a scene in a movie or play


set·​ting | \ ˈse-tiŋ\

Kids Definition of setting

1 : the act of someone or something that sets
2 : that in which something is set or mounted a gold setting for a ruby
3 : the background (as time and place) of the action of a story or play

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