setup

noun
set·​up | \ ˈset-ˌəp How to pronounce setup (audio) \

Definition of setup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : carriage of the body especially : erect and soldierly bearing
2a : 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
3a : a table setting
b : glass, ice, and mixer served to patrons who supply their own liquor
4a : 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
5a : 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
6a : 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 : project, plan
8 : something done by deceit or trickery in order to compromise or frame someone

set up

verb

Definition of set up (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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
2a : 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
3a : cause, create set up a clamor
4 : to place in power or in office set up the general as dictator
5a : to raise from depression : elate, gratify
b : to make proud or vain
6a : to put forward or extol as a model
b : to claim oneself to be sets himself up as an authority
8a : 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
10a : to make taut (a stay or hawser)
b : to tighten firmly
11 : to make carefully worked out plans for set up a bank robbery
12a : to pay for (drinks)
b : to treat (someone) to something
13a : 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 man— Thomas Rogers
4 : to become firm
set up housekeeping
: to establish one's living quarters
set up shop
: to start a business or activity in a particular place

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Setup vs. Set-Up vs. Set Up

The noun setup is usually styled as a solid compound (that is, as a single word) in American English and as a hyphenated compound (set-up) in British English. The noun may be used attributively (that is, as an adjective) in such phrases as setup man (“someone who makes machine tool adjustments”) and setup tool (“software that facilitates the installation of a computer program”). The verb set up, on the other hand, is usually found as an open compound (two words, no hyphen) in both American and British English.

Examples of setup in a Sentence

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Bradley and Hirano, who will open the season as setup men, had three saves apiece last year. Jack Magruder, The Seattle Times, "Greg Holland to close for Diamondbacks," 25 Mar. 2019 His Harlem studio setup once included a 3D body mapping zone where his celebrity clients could be scanned so that their Levine stage costumes fit like second skins. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Meet the Designer Behind Lady Gaga’s Mesmerizing Sci-fi Costumes," 14 Jan. 2019 Advertisers with in-house agencies increased to 64% last year from 42% a decade ago, according to a study from Forrester and the In-house Agency Forum, which represents hundreds of large brands that have their own internal agency setups. Lara O’reilly, WSJ, "You & Mr Jones Takes Majority Stake in Internal Marketing Firm," 10 Jan. 2019 Moms and dads can adjust its height, convert its setup into a series of positions, and even reverse the seat to face in or out. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Here's Where to Buy the Super-Popular Stroller Joanna Gaines Uses for Baby Crew," 21 Oct. 2018 Today, the team is testing a new iteration of its communications system, which could support 10 times as many users as its current setup. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Inside X, the Moonshot Factory Racing to Build the Next Google," 11 July 2018 Crystal Palace have had a good recent history with bringing through academy players to their first team setup, including current first-team players Wilfred Zaha, Jonathan Williams, Aaron-Wan-Bissaka and Sully Kaikai. SI.com, "Crystal Palace Offer Professional Contract to Highly Rated 18-Year-Old Academy Prospect," 3 July 2018 The summer stretch offers teams with wins the chance to experiment and fine-tune their setups minus the pressure of needing victories to join the playoffs. Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "Martin Truex Jr. excited to hit the road for NASCAR race at Sonoma," 21 June 2018 In December, Desikan invited his entire department to a holiday party at his home and used his computer setup to serve as the DJ. Laurie Mcginley, Washington Post, "Devastated by ALS, trying to save others," 13 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The 26-year-old, who was born and raised in Copenhagen, has recently set up a new atelier for her burgeoning fashion label in the city center of the Danish capital, on a quiet, affluent street near The King’s Garden. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Emilie Helmstedt Is Writing Her Own Danish Fairy Tale With Whimsical Clothes," 22 Mar. 2019 Neighborhood artisans have set up stands to showcase their wares and benefit from the influx of visitors. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "Can Egypt Convince the World That It Is Starting Over?," 19 Mar. 2019 While that’s a small risk for any person, the moist, warm environment in running shoes can increase the chance that unwanted microorganisms will set up shop. Isadora Baum, SELF, "What All Runners Should Know Before Getting a Pedicure," 5 Mar. 2019 The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with expenses. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "A Gunman Opened Fire on a Black Family, Killing 7-Year-Old Jazmine Barnes," 2 Jan. 2019 Rising Star has set up Google hangout sessions to chat with K-12 classrooms across the world. Lydia Pyne, Ars Technica, "Rising Star found a new species—now it wants to find a new way for paleoanthropology," 20 Dec. 2018 Most of the planet’s spacefaring countries have set up a semi-permanent habitat in the International Space Station, but China is insistent on doing its own thing. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Here's Our First Look at China's New Space Station," 7 Nov. 2018 Gavin, with the help of his mom, has set up a website and, by popular demand, is selling his now-famous pasta necklaces worldwide. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "The Australian Boy Who Gave Meghan Markle a Macaroni Necklace Is Now Selling His Pasta Jewelry for Charity," 27 Oct. 2018 According to The Telegraph, Eugenie and Jack have already set up home at Kensington Palace in a three-bedroom property called Ivy Cottage. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Princess Eugenie & Jack Brooksbank Will Live Next to Meghan & Harry After the Royal Wedding," 3 Oct. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of setup

Noun

1890, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

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

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Learn More about setup

Statistics for setup

Last Updated

13 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for setup

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

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More Definitions for setup

setup

noun

English Language Learners Definition of setup

: the process of making something (such as a machine or computer program) ready to be used
: the way that something is done or organized
informal : a situation in which someone is deliberately put in a bad position or made to look guilty

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More from Merriam-Webster on setup

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with setup

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for setup

Spanish Central: Translation of setup

Nglish: Translation of setup for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of setup for Arabic Speakers

Comments on setup

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