set·​tle | \ ˈse-tᵊl How to pronounce settle (audio) \
settled; settling\ ˈset-​liŋ How to pronounce settle (audio) , ˈse-​tᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of settle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to place so as to stay
2a : to establish in residence
b : to furnish with inhabitants : colonize
3a : to cause to pack down
b : to clarify by causing dregs or impurities to sink
4 : to make quiet or orderly
5a : to fix or resolve conclusively settle the question
b : to establish or secure permanently settle the order of royal succession
c : to conclude (a lawsuit) by agreement between parties usually out of court
d : to close (something, such as an account) by payment often of less than is due
6 : to arrange in a desired position
7 : to make or arrange for final disposition of settled his affairs
8 of an animal : impregnate

intransitive verb

1 : to come to rest
2a : to sink gradually or to the bottom
b : to become clear by the deposit of sediment or scum
c : to become compact by sinking
3a : to become fixed, resolved, or established a cold settled in his chest
b : to establish a residence or colony settled in Wisconsin often used with down
4a : to become quiet or orderly
b : to take up an ordered or stable life often used with down marry and settle down
5a : to adjust differences or accounts
b : to come to a decision used with on or upon settled on a new plan
c : to conclude a lawsuit by agreement out of court
6 of an animal : conceive
settle for
: to be content with
settle one's hash
: to silence or subdue someone by decisive action
settle the stomach
: to remove or relieve the distress or nausea of indigestion



Definition of settle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a wooden bench with arms, a high solid back, and an enclosed foundation which can be used as a chest

Illustration of settle

Illustration of settle


In the meaning defined above

Other Words from settle


settleable \ ˈse-​tᵊl-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce settle (audio) , ˈset-​lə-​bəl \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for settle

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for settle


decide, determine, settle, rule, resolve mean to come or cause to come to a conclusion. decide implies previous consideration of a matter causing doubt, wavering, debate, or controversy. she decided to sell her house determine implies fixing the identity, character, scope, or direction of something. determined the cause of the problem settle implies a decision reached by someone with power to end all dispute or uncertainty. the dean's decision settled the campus alcohol policy rule implies a determination by judicial or administrative authority. the judge ruled that the evidence was inadmissible resolve implies an expressed or clear decision or determination to do or refrain from doing something. he resolved to quit smoking

Examples of settle in a Sentence

Verb They were determined to settle the dispute before going home for the day. The two sides have settled their differences. We need to settle this question once and for all. That settles it. I can't take the day off from work, so I'm not going. His grandparents were immigrants from Germany who settled in Pennsylvania. He always thought he'd leave the city and settle in the country. the people who settled the West See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The best option is Jarvis Landry, but the five-time Pro Bowler has held a high price tag this spring and might not settle for a crowded offense. Nate Atkins, The Indianapolis Star, 11 May 2022 Although this goal sounds laughable at the moment, bonds are important and should regain their previous function once inflation and other maladies settle down. Larry Light, Fortune, 11 May 2022 Because a decline in 12-month inflation readings have been largely anticipated, the question now shifts to where inflation might settle and whether that level will be unacceptably high for the central bank. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, 11 May 2022 Adams, who’s based in Akron, has questioned why the company would settle for just $180 million from insurers if FirstEnergy could lose billions from the HB6 scandal, as company attorneys have said. Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland, 10 May 2022 If the parties do not settle, the case is likely to be heard before a judge sometime next summer. K.j. Yossman, Variety, 10 May 2022 The duel between this Captain Marvel and Wanda is one of the movie’s highlights that will settle some debates. Chris Smith, BGR, 9 May 2022 The expectation, as has consistently been proven the case since the start of the playoffs, again was that the Heat’s questionables would settle into uniform and be there at Erik Spoelstra’s disposal. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 8 May 2022 The question Nebraska’s Republican primary voters will settle Tuesday is whether any of that matters — or matters more than Trump’s stamp of approval. Reid J. Epstein,, 7 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, gained 9 cents per barrel, or 0.1%, to $79.32, the highest settle value in about five weeks. Hardika Singh, WSJ, 30 Dec. 2021 In the other title fight, flyweight champion Brandon Moreno meets former champion Deiveson Figueiredo for the third time as these two settle once and for all who is the best at 125 pounds. oregonlive, 19 Jan. 2022 Jeremy Kamil, a virologist at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport, said it’s too soon to say whether Omicron will be the force that pushes the pandemic into a seasonal settle-down. Megan Molteni, STAT, 20 Dec. 2021 Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, gained 46 cents per barrel, or 0.5%, to $85.99, the highest settle value in three years. Anna Hirtenstein, WSJ, 25 Oct. 2021 How many corners let their eyes drift to the backfield after seeing Brown settle? Tim Bielik, cleveland, 28 Nov. 2021 But the modifications that your company chooses to retain after the effects of the pandemic settle permanently may be what sets you apart. Britta Lorenz, Forbes, 3 Sep. 2021 Bits of the fruit settle to the bottom of the cup, so give it a stir to enjoy the mix of coffee, pear and just a splash of milk on sunny fall days. Tirion Morris, The Arizona Republic, 8 Oct. 2021 On defense, the Bruins will lean on a veteran linebacking unit led by Dom Downs while newcomers along the line and in the secondary settle in. Glenn Graham,, 3 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'settle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of settle


1515, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1553, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for settle


Middle English, to seat, bring to rest, come to rest, from Old English setlan, from setl seat


Middle English, place for sitting, seat, chair, from Old English setl; akin to Old High German sezzal seat, Latin sella seat, chair, Old English sittan to sit

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Dictionary Entries Near settle

setting-up exercise



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Statistics for settle

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Settle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for settle


set·​tle | \ ˈse-tᵊl How to pronounce settle (audio) \
settled; settling

Kids Definition of settle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to come to rest Birds settled on a branch. Dust settled on the table.
2 : to make a home I'd like to settle in the country.
3 : to make quiet : calm The tea settled my nerves.
4 : decide sense 1 It's settled then—we'll each pay our own way.
5 : to place so as to stay I settled myself in a chair.
6 : to sink gradually to a lower level The foundations of the house settled.
7 : to sink in a liquid
8 : to give attention to Settle down to work now.
9 : to fix by agreement They are hoping to settle the case out of court.
10 : to put in order They settled their affairs.
11 : to complete payment on Waiter, we're ready to settle our bill.
12 : to bring to an end They settled their argument.
13 : to take up a stable life You're not a kid anymore. It's time to settle down.
14 : to be content with He settled for his second choice.



Kids Definition of settle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a long wooden bench with arms and a high solid back


set·​tle | \ ˈset-ᵊl How to pronounce settle (audio) \
settled; settling

Medical Definition of settle

intransitive verb

of an animal : conceive


settled; settling

Legal Definition of settle

transitive verb

1 : to resolve conclusively settle a question of law
2 : to establish or secure permanently a settled legal principle
3 : close settle the sale of securities settle the estate
4 : to resolve a disagreement about (a court order) no hearing to consider these objections and to settle the order had been conductedSaba v. Gray, 314 N.W.2d 597 (1981)
5a : to fix (a price) by mutual agreement
b : to conclude (a lawsuit) by entering into an agreement negotiated by the parties usually out of court
c : to close (as an account) by payment also : to close by compromise and payment of less than the full amount claimed or due

intransitive verb

1 : to conclude a lawsuit by entering into an agreement the plaintiff chose to settle out of court
2 : to make a settlement of a transfer of funds
3 : to adjust differences or accounts settled with his creditors

More from Merriam-Webster on settle

Nglish: Translation of settle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of settle for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about settle


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