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

There will be four opportunities to experience Shashmaqam in a more intimate workshop setting. Sam Boyer,, "Church group comes to the rescue and so can you: Whit & Whimsey," 13 Sep. 2019 The event offers residents a chance to mix and mingle with the city’s police officers, firefighters, emergency workers and elected officials in a relaxed, informal setting. Carissa D. Lamkahouan, Houston Chronicle, "Deer Park to go all out for National Night Out," 13 Sep. 2019 In this setting, James, 30, is less teacher than facilitator, an expert off whom young minds can bounce ideas. Brian Whitehead, The Mercury News, "Apple recognized two California teachers for their approach to education," 11 Sep. 2019 Thrive in a setting of civilized discussion with this engaging form of philosophical discourse. Occurs on the second Wednesday of the month. Alan Goch,, "Events for Broward and Miami-Dade counties for Sept. 11-17," 11 Sep. 2019 Bloom plays a detective investigating a string of murders in a Victorian-esque setting in which humans cohabitate with mythical creatures escaping war. Jen Juneau,, "Katy Perry Trolls Fiancé Orlando Bloom — Watch the Hilarious Musical Prank," 4 Sep. 2019 In that setting, a tall tree canopy often shades much of the humid rainforest floor, making ground-level plants compete for sunlight and space. Kelly Dawson, House Beautiful, "The Best Tropical Plants You Can Grow Indoors," 4 Sep. 2019 When not working on creative projects, Wendy also provides nutritional counseling and diabetes management to clients in a clinical setting. SELF, "You Want to Eat Healthier. Your Partner Does Not. Here's How to Handle That," 3 Sep. 2019 In a one-party setting, so long as either party consents, the recording is lawful. Michael Mccann,, "Assessing the Details of DeMarcus Cousins Allegedly Threatening Ex-Girlfriend," 27 Aug. 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

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for setting

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

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More Definitions for setting



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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Comments on setting

What made you want to look up setting? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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