setup

1 of 2

noun

set·​up ˈset-ˌəp How to pronounce setup (audio)
1
a
: carriage of the body
especially : erect and soldierly bearing
2
a
: the assembly and arrangement of the tools and apparatus required for the performance of an operation
b
: the preparation and adjustment of machines for an assigned task
3
a
: a table setting
b
: glass, ice, and mixer served to patrons who supply their own liquor
4
a
: a camera position from which a scene is filmed
also : the footage taken from one camera position
b
: the final arrangement of the scenery and properties for a scene of a theatrical or cinematic production
5
a
: a position of the balls in billiards or pool from which it is easy to score
b
: a task or contest purposely made easy
c
: something easy to get or accomplish
d
: something (such as a plot) that has been constructed or contrived
e
: the execution of a planned scoring play in sports
6
a
: the manner in which the elements or components of a machine, apparatus, or system are arranged, designed, or assembled
b
: the patterns within which political, social, or administrative forces operate : customary or established practice
7
8
: something done by deceit or trickery in order to compromise or frame someone

set up

2 of 2

verb

set up; setting up; sets up

transitive verb

1
a
: to raise to and place in a high position
b
: to place in view : post
c
: to put forward (something, such as a plan) for acceptance
2
a
: to place upright : erect
set up a statue
b
: to assemble the parts of and erect in position
c
: to put (a machine) in readiness or adjustment for an operation
3
a
: cause, create
set up a clamor
4
: to place in power or in office
set up the general as dictator
5
a
: to raise from depression : elate, gratify
b
: to make proud or vain
6
a
: to put forward or extol as a model
b
: to claim oneself to be
sets himself up as an authority
7
8
a
: to provide with means of making a living
set him up in business
b
: to bring or restore to normal health
c
: to cause (one) to take on a soldierly or athletic appearance especially through drill
9
: to erect (a perpendicular or a figure) on a base in a drawing
10
a
: to make taut (a stay or hawser)
b
: to tighten firmly
11
: to make carefully worked out plans for
set up a bank robbery
12
a
: to pay for (drinks)
b
: to treat (someone) to something
13
a
: to put in a compromising or dangerous position usually by trickery or deceit
14
: to execute one or more plays in preparation for scoring

intransitive verb

1
: to come into active operation or use
2
: to begin business
3
: to make pretensions
has never set up to be a wise manThomas Rogers
4
: to become firm
Phrases
set up housekeeping
: to establish one's living quarters
set up shop
: to start a business or activity in a particular place

Example Sentences

Noun Setup of the new software is a breeze. It took me a while to learn the setup of the office's filing system. We had a great setup. On my days off, my wife would work from home while I took care of the kids. The software makes it easy to create custom setups. Verb set up tables in the living room for the party set up a scholarship fund for deserving students from the inner city See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Naturally, any mattress topper will add height to your existing bed setup. Mike Richard, Men's Health, 19 Jan. 2023 At just $15 for two teacups, this is a great starter set for learning about Japanese teas and Japanese tea culture—especially if your current tea setup is traditional European cups and teas. Deanne Revel, Better Homes & Gardens, 19 Jan. 2023 Ready to finally rid your TV setup of any and all cords? Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 17 Jan. 2023 After several days with no success, Zack had only one hour left of hunting when the big 12-point appeared and walked to within 30 yards of his setup. Scott Bestul, Field & Stream, 9 Jan. 2023 Despite its heavy setup, the film moves with an unexpected buoyancy. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 6 Jan. 2023 Adding a few smart plugs to your living space is a quick and inexpensive way to upgrade to your smart home setup. Rachel Klein, Popular Mechanics, 22 Dec. 2022 His setup had caught the cat in the right spot once already, though he was unsatisfied with the result, and used Big Gulp cups from 7-Eleven on his camera to better focus the light on the elusive feline while preserving darkness all around. Miles Klee, Rolling Stone, 20 Dec. 2022 Don't let a quirky floor plan or roof lines block your creativity or your dream bathroom setup. Amanda Sims Clifford, House Beautiful, 19 Dec. 2022
Verb
Part of that is due to the relatively low cost of entry: Anyone can set up a website, and many influencers and celebrities already have the relationships necessary to build a brand. Kati Chitrakorn, Glamour, 12 Jan. 2023 The mandate could set up new fights with the Justice Department and national security agencies over sensitive records and probes -- including those involving former President Donald Trump. Libby Cathey, ABC News, 10 Jan. 2023 This will set up a showdown with the Biden administration and law enforcement agencies over their criminal probes, particularly those into former President Donald Trump. Alexandra Meeks, CNN, 9 Jan. 2023 Bowhunters should set up close, and not be too worried about being hidden—again, so long as the wind is right. The Editors, Field & Stream, 9 Jan. 2023 Inmates from the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation & Reentry helped set up the event before sunrise, including placing small Arizona flags on white plastic chairs for guests. Stacey Barchenger, The Arizona Republic, 5 Jan. 2023 If things go well, 2023 in Jazzland can set up a brilliant 2024 and years to come. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 31 Dec. 2022 Fruitvale neighborhood, Henry Pablo Matias and his wife, Loyda Pablo, set up a fryer in front of a bus stop, crisping chicken and thick potatoes to order. Cesar Hernandez, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 Dec. 2022 So, set up an imaginary store, put out a pretend tea party, attend a fake school, transform into super heroes, act out your favorite fairy tales or enter into a new world of their own making. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, 27 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

Noun

1890, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of setup was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near setup

Cite this Entry

“Setup.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/setup. Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

setup

1 of 2 noun
set·​up ˈset-ˌəp How to pronounce setup (audio)
: the way in which something is set up : organization, arrangement

set up

2 of 2 verb
(ˈ)set-ˈəp
1
: to place in position
set up a target
2
a
: erect entry 2 sense 1
set up a building
b
: to assemble the parts of
set up a machine
3
: to cause to happen
the wind sets up a humming in the wires
4
: to put in operation : found, inaugurate
set up a school
5
: to put in operation as a way of living
set up housekeeping

More from Merriam-Webster on setup

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